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SEN visits Shanghai to speak on green business opportunities (with photos)

The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, today (May 6) in Shanghai spoke about the green business opportunities arising from concerted inter-governmental efforts to transform the Pearl River Delta (PRD) into a quality living area.

Mr Yau was speaking at the "Green Technologies, Challenges and Opportunities" seminar, which is an HKSAR programme for Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) and the first of a six-month series of events and activities to be staged by the HKSAR during the Shanghai Expo period.

Delivering the keynote address titled "From environmental protection to business opportunities: the interaction and synergy of going green and the economy", Mr Yau shared details of the HKSAR's environmental policy that encourages the development and implementation of green technologies for industries in the PRD region.

"To encourage enterprises to adopt clean production procedures and to reduce pollution in production processes, we have put in place a five-year Cleaner Production Partnership Programme since April 2008. The scheme aims at encouraging and assisting Hong Kong-owned enterprises in the PRD region to adopt clean production techniques and operation modules," he said.

He also spoke about the joint regional planning study, "The Regional Co-operation Plan on Building a Quality Living Area", as well as business opportunities arising from this.

"Altogether there are more than 50 million residents in the Greater PRD region which comprises the nine municipalities in Guangdong Province as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Undoubtedly, they provide a market with huge potential for the energy, green transport and relevant consultancy industries," he added.

He pointed out that with the restructuring of the economy, there was an urgent need to further protect the environment and combat climate change. These, coupled with higher public expectations for a better lifestyle and quality of life, would definitely make the development of a green economy and green technology a global trend and provide business opportunities with the greatest potential in the future.

"However, the Government cannot promote a green economy just on its own. We need to join hands with the business sector as their initiatives and participation are important driving forces in promoting a green economy," Mr Yau said.

The President of the Hong Kong Environmental Industry Association, Mr Daniel Cheng, and Federation of Hong Kong Industries' Mr Peter Sun spoke respectively on the research into and application of green technologies.

The Deputy Director-General of the Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Department of Guangdong Province, Mr Cai Yin, the Deputy Director of Environmental Protection of Hong Kong, Mr Carlson Chan, and the Director for the Environmental Protection Bureau of Macao, Mr Cheong Sio Kei, also spoke on the findings of a study into "A quality living area in the Greater PRD region".

Organised by the Environment Bureau, the seminar was held at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai this morning. About 150 stakeholders from the environmental protection industry and green technology were invited to attend.

Following the half-day seminar, Mr Yau led seminar guests on a visit to the Hong Kong Pavilion at Shanghai Expo, where they toured the Environment Bureau's "Green Living in Hong Kong" exhibition.

The group then visited Hong Kong's Urban Best Practices Area Exhibition, "Smart Card‧Smart City‧Smart Life", which showcases how the efficiency and quality of daily life has been improved through the extensive and innovative use of smart card technologies.