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CS starts visit to Sichuan (with photos)  

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, and her delegation began their visit to Sichuan today (May 10).

Upon arrival in Chengdu, Mrs Lam visited two developments with Hong Kong investment in the municipality in the afternoon and met with Hong Kong people and entrepreneurs in Sichuan to understand more about their living situation and business in the Mainland.

In the evening, Mrs Lam met with the Governor of Sichuan Province, Mr Yin Li, to conclude the work of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in support of the reconstruction of earthquake-stricken areas in Sichuan. She said, "With the concerted efforts of Sichuan and Hong Kong, the HKSAR's work in support of reconstruction of the earthquake-stricken areas after the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 has come to its final stage. Currently, except for two road projects which are expected to be completed by the end of 2016, 188 out of 190 HKSAR reconstruction projects have come into operation.”

Mrs Lam and Mr Yin then witnessed the signing of the Agreement on the Use of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's Residual Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas, under which the residual fund without specified usage would be used for improving the Wolong Nature Reserve, the reconstruction work of which has been funded by the HKSAR, subject to a ceiling of RMB190 million. The Wolong Nature Reserve is the most important giant panda conservation and research centre in the world. Using the residual fund for ecosystem rehabilitation at the Wolong Nature Reserve, enhancement of the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda and capacity building for ecotourism at Wolong will facilitate the development of Wolong into a world-class biodiversity protection centre and a role model of sustainable development that emphasises a harmonious relationship with nature.  

Mrs Lam will officiate tomorrow (May 11) at the breakthrough ceremony of the Provincial Road 303 (Yingxiu to Wolong section), which is a reconstruction project of the HKSAR, and the opening ceremony of the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda, a landmark project in Wolong reconstruction. She will also visit a few reconstruction projects in Wolong and meet with local residents.

After the massive earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, in 2008, the HKSAR Government established the Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas and injected $9 billion into the Trust Fund to implement 151 government-led reconstruction projects and 32 non-governmental organisations' reconstruction projects in Sichuan. The Hong Kong Jockey Club also donated $1 billion to support the implementation of seven reconstruction projects. The HKSAR-funded reconstruction projects have covered the areas of education, medical and health, social welfare, infrastructure and the Wolong Nature Reserve.

Ends/Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:30