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DC reform meetings held

The Government held exchange meetings on the theme of improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils (DCs) at the Central Government Offices today.   Over 80 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Hong Kong SAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were there to exchange views on improving the district governance system and supporting the District Council election.   Chief Executive John Lee noted that it is the first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the DCs, and is of particular significance.   He said it also marks the final mile for the full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the district governance structure.   The Chief Executive also noted that the election is of great significance to the good governance and the long-term st

Bay area business talks held

A conference was held today for Hong Kong's architectural, surveying, planning, landscape architectural and engineering sectors to introduce a number of preferential policies and liberalisation measures to facilitate the starting of businesses and practising by related enterprises and professionals in the nine Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.   It was organised in Beijing, Guangdong and Hong Kong via video conferencing by the Development Bureau, the Ministry of Natural Resources Bureau of Territorial & Spatial Planning, the Department of Natural Resources (DNRGP) and the Department of Housing & Urban-Rural Development of Guangdong Province (DHURDGP).   More than 100 representatives from the related professional institutions, associations and registration boards as well as enterprises also participated in the conference.   The DNRGP promulgated new measures at the conference, including expanding the coverage of the registration measures in the bay area to enable Hong Kong planning professional enterprises and professionals registered with the Planners Registration Board in Hong Kong to directly provide services in Guangdong after registration.   Speaking at the conference, Secretary for Development Michael Wong said the National 14th Five-Year Plan supports the strategy of high-quality development of the bay area, and the Development Bureau has been actively promoting the integration of Hong Kong's construction and engineering sectors into the country's overall development along this direction.   He noted that the launch of a number of preferential measures for Hong Kong reaffirmed the achievement of the long-term collaboration between Guangdong and Hong Kong and reflected the central authorities' support and recognition for the city.   Mr Wong expressed hope that the related enterprises and professionals in Hong Kong can grasp the opportunities in the bay area development and expand their businesses.   The Government and the construction and engineering sectors will continue to make concerted efforts and take the bay area development as an entry point to better integrate into the country's overall development, thereby bringing continuous impetus to Hong Kong's construction industry, he added.   There was also a briefing at the conference on the registration measures formulated by the Development Bureau with the DHURDGP, the Qianhai Authority and the Administrative Committee of Hengqin New Area.   The measures announced by the DHURDGP with effect from January 1 cover four professional sectors in architecture, engineering, surveying and landscape architecture, which allow consultant firms on the two government lists and professionals registered with relevant registration boards in Hong Kong to directly provide services in the bay area by obtaining equivalent qualifications in the Mainland through a registration system.   So far, 45 enterprises and 189 professionals have completed registration.   Similar measures were also promulgated in Qianhai and Hengqin, which took effect from October last year and December 2019.   In addition to the consultant firms on the two government lists, the measures also cover companies on the List of Approved Contractors for Public Works, as well as company members of the relevant professional institutions or associations.   Up to now, a total of 51 enterprises and 331 professionals have completed registration in these two free trade zones.

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