Regina Ip meets with electors from transport subsector
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Hong Kong’s shortage of land has posed problems across the board with the latest industry seeking more space being the transport operators.

At a meeting of the transport subsector of the Election Committee with Chief Executive candidate Mrs. Regina Ip and Legislative Councillor Hon. Frankie YICK, seven members from the transport subsector pointed out the challenge of land shortage. Specifically, there was a lack of space available for commercial vehicle maintenance. Most of these maintenance shops were located on land on short lease and could not meet long-term demand. The industry hoped that the government could help the industry and enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in general with effective long-term land planning.

“I agree with these observations,” said Mrs. Ip, “I have emphasized in my platform that Hong Kong’s economic development is being inhibited by two major bottlenecks: First, the lack of land hinders the development of industries in various ways. Second, we often encounter labour shortages. The government should strive to provide more land and strengthen local talents while drawing in quality talents from across the globe and allow importation of labour at an appropriate rate.”
The EC members, representing cargo, minibus, taxi and logistics industries, pointed out that the highly labour intensive transport industry faced serious challenges from an ageing workforce, particularly in jobs such as drivers and maintenance workers, due to ageing population and young people’s unwillingness to join the industry. The representatives hoped that the government could relax limits on labour importation.

They also held the view that the industry’s needs were often neglected as the policy portfolio of the Transport and Housing Bureau was too board. Mrs. Ip responded, “In June 2011, the New People's Party suggested the government conduct a large scale structural reorganisation to improve the division of work between different policy bureaux. I have also mentioned in my platform that: ‘Housing and lands are inter-related, so it is highly unsatisfactory that functions in relation to housing development and land supply are delegated to two separate bureaux. The Lands, Planning and Housing Bureau should be established to streamline the process. The Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) is currently responsible for handling issues with land, maritime and air transportation; but maritime transport and civil aviation are often defined by economists as trading services and were previously handled by the Economic Bureau. Past practices should be resumed and the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) should take over maritime and civil aviation matters; the THB should be reformed as Transport and Works Bureau to supervise government infrastructure projects and land transport, transferring its housing-related functions to Land Planning and Housing Bureau.’ I believe the proposal could improve government performance.”

“I am grateful to Hon. Frankie Yick for arranging this meeting for me to explain my platform and exchange views on issues such as governance, the opening of Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge, and social mobility. I will enhance my platform in hopes of supporting the industry and raising Hong Kong’s competitiveness.” Mrs. Ip concluded. 

Mrs. Ip and her team will continue to meet various parties and organizations to explain her policy platform and seek support.

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