|22 September 2005 (Thursday)|
Government will boost HK's logistics capabilities - SEDL
Hong Kong will continue to invest in both hardware and software to boost its logistics capabilities, the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen IP, said in Milan, Italy on September 21.
He was delivering a keynote speech at a luncheon hosted by the Trade Development Council (TDC), Italy-Hong Kong Association, Sviluppo Cina (an Italian business association) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels.
Mr Ip, in his capacity as Chairman of the Logistics Development Council (LogsCouncil), is leading a LogsCouncil delegation to Europe to promote Hong Kong's logistics advantages and business opportunities in Hong Kong and China to overseas users, shippers and investors.
"To cope with fierce competition in the global market, we are making significant investments to enhance Hong Kong's physical connectivity with Mainland China, our logistics hinterland. We are putting in place world-class infrastructure and a facilitating regulatory regime to make the cross-boundary flow of goods faster and cheaper," he told his audience.
"The completion of the new Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor in 2006 will more than triple the capacity for cross-boundary traffic. Preparatory work for the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is proceeding as a matter of priority. The bridge will greatly expand Hong Kong's cargo catchment area."
"Our airport is charting its medium-term development up to 2020. When fully developed, it will be able to handle 87 million passengers and 9 million tonnes of cargo per year. We are also conducting studies to determine the timing and location of our new port facilities," he continued.
Mr Ip also said that in view of the importance of information connectivity in modern logistics, the Government would launch the Digital Trade and Transportation Network System (DTTN) by the end of this year to provide a neutral and secure interface for logistics players in the supply chain to exchange information and data.
"It will lower the cost of information flow, increase reliability, and provide interconnectivity to stakeholders along the supply chain - both in Hong Kong and beyond," he said.
"It will strengthen our role as the prime logistics information conduit, and enhance the overall competitiveness of our logistics sector. With this cyber-infrastructure, Hong Kong can reinforce its role as Asia's virtual logistics hub."
"The Government is working with the industry and academic institutions to promote research and development of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and its application in logistics operations."
"Our objective is to make Hong Kong the trend-setter in Asia in the application of RFID in logistics operations," Mr Ip said.
Mr Ip said that at the Hong Kong container port, 80 international lines operated 400 shipping calls per week to over 500 destinations globally, and the commercially-operated terminals boast a record of 50 gate movements per crane per hour.
"On the aviation side, 70 airlines run 4,600 scheduled flights weekly to 140 destinations worldwide, including 40 in Mainland China. SuperTerminal 1, the world's largest standalone air cargo handling facility, with an investment of over 820 million euros [US$1 billion], offers a full chain of cargo handling services as well as documentation processing, ramp handling and pre-arrival clearance of import cargo," he added.
"To cope with the volume of cargo, customs service runs around the clock under Hong Kong's own clear and predictable custom rules."
"Containers can be dispatched from Dongguan, about 120 kilometres away in southern China, and shipped out of Hong Kong within seven hours."
"Leveraging on our prime location and world-class transport infrastructure, Hong Kong has become a leading international logistics hub for both air and sea cargo," Mr Ip said.
Apart from Milan, the week-long visit of the LogsCouncil will also cover Marseilles in France and Barcelona in Spain. The delegation will meet with Government officials, port and airport authorities, the maritime sector, business associations and representatives of the port, shipping and logistics industries in these cities.
It will impress upon our trading partners Hong Kong's status as Asia's premier air freight hub and a leading international hub port with excellent information connectivity and cyber infrastructure as well as business opportunities available to overseas shippers and investors.
Members of the delegation include Chairman, SME Logistics Group, the Hon Miriam Lau; Chairman, E-Logistics Project Group, Mr John Hammond; Chairman, Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association, Mr Alan Lee; Chairman, Hong Kong Shippers' Council, Mr Willy Lin; Managing Director of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd, Mr Anthony Wong; and the Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Miss Janise Tse.
End/Thursday, September 22, 2005