* Published by CLSA Emerging Markets
By Christine Loh
The world now knows the Pearl River Delta (PRD) as an essential link in the global consumer-product supply chain, and that Hong Kong has played the major part in transforming it into China’s fastest-growing area. The economic integration between Hong Kong, Macau and the PRD is happening at a phenomenal pace, but the authorities are having trouble coping with the tremendous daily flow of people, goods, services, capital, know-how and ideas that demand an even faster pace of change.
This Report aims to produce a set of the HKSAR Government accounts on an accrual basis in order to gain insights into the true state of public finance in Hong Kong. This Report also examined the post- 1997 policy addresses and budgets to review decisions and how they were made.
Despite recent advances in cross-strait relations leading to direct chartered flights over Chinese New Year between Taiwan and the Mainland, the panelists remained cautious in expressing optimism over when reunification might occur. No one denies that a lot of positive and practical things can be done to ease travel restrictions and inconveniences but political reunification is another matter altogether.
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Wastewater pollution and inadequate sewage treatment have created an immense problem in Guangdong. Millions of tons of raw sewage are discharged into the river every day and the situation will continue to worsen if this practice continues. The province’s strong economic growth rate and explosive population boom over the last two decades have placed a heavy burden on Guangdong’s ability to treat water and wastewater. The province’s municipal wastewater plants are strained beyond their capacity and this has resulted in serious water pollution in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). These strains have also led to water pollution in hundreds of smaller streams and tributaries which feed into the larger East, West, and North Rivers, which are all part of the Pearl River estuary. Many parts of the Pearl River’s lower reaches are heavily polluted, having exceeded self-purification capacity long ago.
By Andrew Taylor
Housing policy has made it to the limelight again with Chief Executive C.H. Tung and Financial Secretary Antony Leung both, finally, acknowledging publicly that private housing prices are a major input in the performance of the domestic economy. Sadly they are looking at pro-active intervention to “push prices up a bit”. This is the last thing we need, the 55% of households that are home owners in Hong Kong deserve their wealth to be determined by the market, not by the short-term whim of government policy.
DATE: Oct 2002 FILED UNDER: Economy, Environment, Research Reports, Social TAG: planning & buildings, ports, transport
* Published by CLSA Emerging Markets
Hong Kong and Guangdong Provinces fortunes have become intimately tied. Hong Kong continues to provide the capital and expertise for development across the border, especially in the Pearl River Delta, for the creation of what is likely to be the worlds most efficient supply-chain system in light manufacturing industries.
China’s geographical structure, ecological foundation, and intensity of human activity show relative fragility when compared to other large countries. As such, enormous “stress” is being placed on China’s natural environment as the country continues to develop. China already has the highest intensity of human activity in the world. In considering how best to develop Western China, a sustainable path must be adopted in order to minimize threats to the natural environment and to address the problem of rural poverty, which is often tied to ecosystems damage.
This short paper provides a general introduction to the political economy of land in Hong Kong. How land is taxed and the way the HKSAR Government has increasingly transferred land development rights to public corporations provide a unique set of circumstances in Hong Kong that affects both the health of the economy as a whole as well as the style of governance. The surprising lack of understanding of these issues has contributed to disjointed decision-making on the part of the executive and the lack of legislative oversight of the decision-making process.