The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the Executive Vice-Governor of Sichuan, Mr Wei Hong, today (July 6) witnessed the signing of the "Letter of Intent on the HKSAR’s Third Stage Work in Support of Restoration and Reconstruction in Sichuan” between the HKSAR Government and Sichuan Provincial People’s Government (Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work). The HKSAR and Sichuan Governments also exchanged signed copies of the project co-operation arrangement for the Deyang Aba Highway – Mianzhu to Mao County Section (the Mian Mao Highway).
With the signing of the Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work, the framework of the HKSAR’s overall reconstruction support plan in terms of scale and content has now taken shape. The financial commitment for the 32 third-stage projects is about $2.859 billion (about RMB2.5 billion). Taking the first and second stages of reconstruction support work together, the overall financial commitment for the three stages is close to $9 billion. Adding together the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s commitment of $1 billion, the overall objective of the HKSAR’s reconstruction support work has been met.
Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work
Last Friday (July 3), the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council agreed to increase the existing commitment of $6 billion by $3 billion, and inject the sum into the "Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas" to take forward the HKSAR's third stage reconstruction support work. On the basis of the “Co-operation Arrangement on HKSAR's Support for Restoration and Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas" , the Sichuan and Hong Kong Governments have agreed on 32 projects for implementation at the third stage.
The major objective of signing the "Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work" is to set out the agreement and intent of both sides on the HKSAR’s third stage reconstruction support work to take the matter forward. The third stage comprises 32 projects, covering one highway project, six medical and health projects, and 25 county level rehabilitation services centres for the disabled, as described below -
(a) The Mian Mao Highway is a key third stage project. Besides reconstructing the existing passageway seriously damaged in the earthquake, the project will also provide a direct link between the severely affected areas of Deyang Municipality and Aba Prefecture, obviating the need for long-distance detouring through the mountainous areas caused by the intervening mountains. The target beneficiaries include about 190,000 residents and mine workers living and working along the highway.
(b) The six medical and health projects cover one remote medical network platform, and five hospitals / health care centres in Ya On Municipality and Mianyang Municipality. The proposal will help provide better services to the patients by strengthening the necessary hospital and health care centre services support for the concerned quake-affected areas, enhancing the overall standard of medical and heath care facilities at the county level, and facilitating training of medical and health personnel.
(c) The 25 county level rehabilitation services centres for the disabled form an integral part of Sichuan’s planned overall rehabilitation services support network at the county level. The first stage project, the“Sichuan Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre”, will form the core of the network at the provincial level to provide specialised rehabilitation services for patients. The 25 third-stage rehabilitation services for the disabled, together with seven integrated social services centres with rehabilitation facilities, and two rehabilitation services centres for the disabled covered under the first and second stages, as well as five other rehabilitation service centres supported by other provinces/special administrative region, will form a comprehensive network covering all the 39 severely/seriously affected areas.
Project Co-operation Arrangement for the Mian Mao Highway
Today, in addition to the signing of the Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work, the Hong Kong and Sichuan sides also exchanged signed copies of the co-operation arrangement on the Mian Mao Highway, which is a key third stage project, to initiate the funding transfer mechanism and take forward the project.
Before the signing ceremony this morning, Mr Tang and Vice-Governor Wei Hong had a brief discussion on ways to expedite implementation of the HKSAR’s reconstruction support projects by optimising procedures within the parameters of the relevant laws and procedures and on the condition that the required quality standards can be met. Relevant authorities of both sides will continue to work closely to implement the 152 HKSAR reconstruction support projects at full speed, and help the affected residents resume a normal life as soon as possible.
The two sides also exchanged views about promoting bilateral economic co-operation to help develop the economy of the quake-affected area.
The Letter of Intent on Third Stage Work was signed today by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Director of Sichuan Development and Reform Commission, Mr Liu Jie. During their stay in Sichuan, Mr Tang and other members of the HKSAR delegation also conducted site visits in Wenchuan and Deyang Municipality on July 5 to understand the latest local situation and progress of a number of HKSAR reconstruction support projects there.
Ends/Monday, July 6, 2009
Issued at HKT 12:15