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Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

CE defends parallel plans for Northern Metropolis and Artificial Islands

CE defends parallel plans for Northern Metropolis and Artificial Islands

Chief Executive on Tuesday defended the plan for carrying out two heavyweight projects - Northern Metropolis and Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands - simultaneously, saying it would benefit the city for "up to five decades" on its competitiveness.
In a press conference this morning, the city's leader John Lee Ka-chiu said the land supply was of great significance to strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness, especially when compared with its rival Singapore.

"The median per capita living space in Hong Kong is just 16 square metres - one-third less than Singapore and Shanghai, and even 40 percent less than the figure in Shenzhen," he said.

Lee emphasised land was one of the most critical factors that mattered to the city's competitiveness, and only with sufficient land supply could the economy be fully developed.

He stressed that both projects would benefit Hong Kong not only for five or ten years, but for 30 or 50 years in the long term.

"The reclamation area size in Hong Kong is about seven percent of the total land size, while the number in Singapore is over 20 percent," Lee said, "I hope the public could understand we don't want to lose to our competitors."

He added that the development authority was conducting a consultation and would fully consider views from all sectors of society.

Lee's speech came after an opinion raised by Executive Council convenor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. She suggested that the government prioritise Northern Metropolis's development rather than conducting the two projects simultaneously as "resources are limited".

"The financial assessment of the two projects has not yet been completed," she told a local media yesterday, "it is not clear whether the government can move forward with the two mega projects at the same time given its current financial budget."
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