Increasing Land Supply for I&T Uses
27. In recent years, Hong Kong has made considerable achievements in I&T. Under the strategy of re-industrialisation, the development of advanced manufacturing industries, which are based on new technologies and smart production, is also showing promising prospect. Yet, the shortage of land will impede such development. While the 87-hectare HSITP in the Loop now underway will provide a planned gross floor area about three times that of the Hong Kong Science Park at Pak Shek Kok, its scale is relatively humble when compared with the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone (Shenzhen I&T Zone) on the northern shore of the Shenzhen River with an area of more than 300 hectares. The Development Strategy puts forward a proposal to make an optimal use of the land vacated upon relocation of the Lok Ma Chau Control Point to the new Huanggang Boundary Control Point in Shenzhen, and a portion of the adjacent fish ponds and rural land. This, together with the original land use planning in the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node, will provide about 150 hectares of additional land for I&T uses to develop the San Tin Technopole, with a view to creating a critical mass of I&T facilities with greater economy of scale.
Developing Industries and Creating Job Opportunities
28. The Plan to expand the Qianhai Co-operation Zone aims to foster a globally competitive business environment, which will bring about tremendous opportunities for Hong Kong’s professional services. The Development Strategy suggests that Hong Kong should leverage this opportunity to upgrade Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen and make it the New Territories North Modern Services Centre, and to build sizable landmark I&T facilities in Lau Fau Shan facing Qianhai on the other side of the Shenzhen Bay, to provide enormous job opportunities in the Northern Metropolis. To achieve “home-job balance”, the Development Strategy suggests that we should formulate clear policies and administrative guidelines and select, as far as possible, the Northern Metropolis as the location for government facilities and offices which are “non-location-bound and employment-driven”.
Building an Eco-environment
29. The Northern Metropolis has diverse habitats. There are wetlands on the List of Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention to the west, a vast area of fish ponds in the centre, and the proposed Robin’s Nest Country Park, a marine park and the world-class Geopark to the east. The Development Strategy suggests that a proactive conservation policy should be formulated and implemented. Through the gradual resumption of several hundred hectares of private wetlands and fish ponds by the Government for enhanced management, the ecological functions of around 2 000 hectares of conservation area, including the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, will be enhanced, thus achieving better conservation of wetlands in Hong Kong while creating a quality living environment for the Northern Metropolis.