HONG KONG, Jan. 15 -- Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung pledged Wednesday to further strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international and regional logistics centre.
Delivering his second policy address at the Legislative Council, Leung said that the logistics industry has flourished in recent years. Ten hectares of land have been set aside in Tuen Mun West for logistics use. Land will also be earmarked in new development areas for the construction of modern logistics facilities.
In terms of air freight, the Hong Kong International Airport ( HKIA) has been the world's busiest international cargo airport in the past decade. In the first 11 months of 2013, the HKIA handled 3.7 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 2.6 percent over the same period in 2012.
"Following the full operation of the third air cargo terminal last October, the overall cargo handling capacity of the HKIA has increased by 2.6 million tonnes, further strengthening Hong Kong's position as an international and regional logistics centre," Leung said.
Leung pledged that the government will continue to improve port facilities and enhance the efficiency of port operations, thereby seizing the opportunities brought by the growth of trade in Chinese mainland and Asia.
"Hong Kong enjoys a competitive edge in developing quality and international maritime services, such as ship registration, management and broking, shipping agency, ship finance, maritime insurance, legal and arbitration services," Leung said.
As an international maritime center, Hong Kong has tried to retain its competitiveness. Leung said that the consultancy study on Enhancing Hong Kong's Position as an International Maritime Centre has been completed. It concluded that Hong Kong is well positioned to develop high value-added maritime services. It also proposed setting up a new statutory maritime body.
"In the coming year, the government will work out the specific function, structure and funding of the proposed new body and consult the industry. We will then take forward the necessary legislative procedures as soon as possible."
The government also put emphasis on manpower training as it is essential to further strengthen Hong Kong's leading position as the major regional aviation hub.
"The government will consider setting up a civil aviation training institute, to develop human capital for both the local and regional aviation industries, promote exchanges and enhance the safety and efficiency of air services," Leung added.