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Hong Kong To Invest Heavily In Green Economy

HK to invest heavily in ‘green economy’

Staff reporters – Updated on Feb 25, 2009 – SCMP

The government would invest hundreds of millions of dollars making Hong Kong a greener city and a better living environment, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said on Wednesday.

“Promoting a ‘green economy’ would enhance Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness as well as making it a more livable city,” he explained.

Mr Tsang sketched out plans for promoting more energy efficient buildings, beautifying the harbour front and introducing electric vehicles.

The financial secretary pledged to extend exemption for electric vehicles from First Registration Tax for a further five years, until March 31, 2014.

“Promoting the use of electric vehicles will create additional business opportunities. We will be actively involved in vehicle tests conducted in Hong Kong with a view to introducing electric vehicles into our market,” said Mr Tsang, who will lead a committee to study the wider use of electric vehicles.

Mr Tsang said the government would also study the possibility of jointly promoting electric vehicles with manufacturers.

To promote more energy-efficient buildings, HK$450 million would be allocated over the next two years to install energy-efficient systems in government buildings.

An additional HK$450 million has been earmarked for private building owners to conduct energy audits and improvement works.

“We expect to subsidise more than 1,600 projects,” he said. “This will also create business opportunities for related sectors.”

The financial secretary said Hong Kong would extend existing areas of co-operation with the Guangdong provincial government to improve the environment.

“This is to turn the region into a cluster of high-tech, low-pollution and low-energy-consumption cities. We will also further develop regional high-tech recycling industries, and encourage enterprises to adopt advanced technologies for cleaner production, energy saving and emission reduction,” he said.

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