Hong Kong, China plan transport links

Hong Kong, China plan transport links

Moves to coordinate Hong Kong's transport network more closely with China's booming Pearl River Delta are accelerating, after a number of inter-government deals intended to boost trade and improve transport links.

Port facilities in Hong Kong, China's neighboring Shenzhen and elsewhere in the Delta will be reviewed to integrate operations, Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said.

Tung said the focus of railway development in the Delta region will be the proposed Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express link, the economic benefits of which are now being studied in detail. If implemented, the express rail service would cut travel time between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, to an hour.

Tung said the government in Beijing has shown full support for the regional plans, and that Hong Kong will play an active role to bolster its status as an international financial and logistics hub.

China's Minister of Communications, Zhang Chunxian, told the recent inaugural session of the Pan-Pearl River Delta Cooperation and Development Forum that further coordination of port facilities will enhance the region's trade advantages and strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international logistics center.

Zhang said the mainland plans to create a network of efficient roads and waterways in southern China to complement the other regional developments. The plan calls for 22 main roads covering nearly 20,000 miles, with two central points in Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

An improved river network is intended to link all areas in the region within eight years, which Zhang said will cut costs for transportation of containers.

The network of roads and waterways will enable goods to reach such cities as Fuzhou, Nanchang, Changsha, Guiyang, Nanning, Haikou and Guilin within a day, he said, with Chengdu, Kunming, Shanghai, Jinan, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Xi'an and Chongqing receiving shipments within two days.