Boundary island benefits seen to flow
Monday, July 27, 2015
The government has come up with a new catchphrase to describe the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Island on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge “the world converging.”
Writing in his blog, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said the government has initial plans for the island with reference to foreign success in “bridgehead economy development,” meaning the use of geographical advantages strategically so that the newly developed location may be a bridgehead to boost economic activities.
Chan said that with the island’s proximity to the Hong Kong International Airport, it could serve as a gateway for Hong Kong and the western Pearl River Delta.
The three directions of the development under such a theme would be: experiencing Hong Kong and the world; business launchpad and logistics support; and aiming to provide spots for tourists, creative industry, logistics and business services on the 150-hectare island.
Lawmaker Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism constituency, said he is generally positive toward the direction of the development.
Yiu forecasts a 50 percent increase in tourists visiting the city following the completion of the bridge, the airport north commercial district, Hong Kong Disneyland phase two, and the third airport runway.
“One worry is that the government seems to be doing a lot of the planning alone. Without cooperating with the Airport Authority, the development of the shopping areas in both the airport north commercial district and the island may be competing for the same group of tourists,” Yiu said.
“More cooperation and communication is needed so as to maximize the benefits of the whole tourism development on Lantau Island.”
The first stage of the project Community Engagement was launched earlier this month to collect public opinions on the initial concept and comments for the possible land use.
Chan hopes the island will bring employment opportunities. Apart from the bridge, the commercial district, Tung Chung new town extension, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay reclamation are also on the development agenda.