Published: 15:47, May 29, 2023 | Updated: 15:46, May 29, 2023
Chan: HK needs 'forward-looking' infrastructure plan
By Liu Yifan in Hong Kong

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po delivers a keynote speech at the 2nd World Chinese Accountants Conference, May 20, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

Hong Kong needs to better manage its spatial layout and infrastructure facilities with forward-looking planning to make new development areas better meet the people’s livelihood needs, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on Sunday.

“A transport network that extends in all directions will help Hong Kong accelerate industrial and commercial development and unlock the potential of land along the way,” the finance chief wrote in his Sunday blog. 

As railway projects take time to build, we need to be proactive in implementing them in a timely manner. This will not only facilitate the activities of the community and businesses in the new development areas, but also enhance the connectivity of Hong Kong’s transport system to provide more options and flexibility to the community and businesses.

Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary 

Railways serve as the backbone of the special administrative region’s transport network, he said. At present, there are about 270 kilometers of railways in Hong Kong, covering the homes of about 70 percent of the city’s  population.  

“As railway projects take time to build, we need to be proactive in implementing them in a timely manner. This will not only facilitate the activities of the community and businesses in the new development areas, but also enhance the connectivity of Hong Kong’s transport system to provide more options and flexibility to the community and businesses,” he said.

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According to Chan, more than 3.9 million people, or about 54 percent of the SAR’s population, were living in the New Territories as of last year — 3.4 percentage points higher than 20 years ago.

The launch ceremony was held last week for the Tung Chung Line extension — the first official railway project under the current administration. The extension project is expected to deliver important infrastructure support for the expanded Tung Chung community, which will provide an additional 62,000 residential units to accommodate 180,000 people, bringing the area’s total resident population to about 300,000.

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Chan also cited other new projects, including the Oyster Bay station, Tuen Mun South extension and Hung Shui Kiu Station, saying construction will begin in the next two years, creating greater capacity.

Contact at evanliu@chinadailyhk.com