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With her background as a previous Development Secretary, Carrie Lam has a keen understanding of the issues affecting the construction industry and the future development of Hong Kong’s Infrastructure.
In her maiden policy address, she identified some key themes related to construction that her administration would focus on and drive forward. These themes were a Diversified Economy, Nurturing Talent, Improving People’s Livelihoods and a Liveable City.
In promoting a diversified economy , she allocated $700m to start turning Hong Kong into a smart city and acknowledged that the construction industry needs to innovate and evolve to reduce costs and that prefabrication and digital services will be key drivers in achieving that goal.
In the area of nurturing talent, the Government finally acknowledged that with major projects underway such as the 3RS coupled with an aging population, limited labour importation is essential, something the construction industry has been lobbying for over several years.
In terms of improving livelihoods, the key initiatives were focused on increasing land supply for housing and improving health and safety through reducing the number of fatal construction accidents by introducing much heavier penalties for offences.
The final key theme related to construction was a liveable city and here the emphasis was on improving the road infrastructure, accelerating the HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, allocating $3B to renovate properties over 50 years old and promoting planning to take account of possible future extreme weather events through updating design standards and enhancing disaster preparedness measures.
In summary, with a well-received policy address, Mrs Lam brought the focus back inward to improving Hong Kong and downplayed the wider mainland initiatives such as belt and road that her predecessor was so fond of promoting.
Please find the following pages extracts of Policy Address 2017.
Steve Root, Director, The Contracts Group
Based in Hong Kong, The Contracts Group specialises in the provision of expert contractual & commercial consultancy services for the construction industry in China, Asia and worldwide.