Promoting Sustainable Economic Development
39. Despite the impact of the global financial crisis and other external factors, we still enjoy a number of advantages, including a sound institutional framework, a large pool of talent, solid commercial fundamentals, and a favourable geographical location. We will continue to capitalise on our strengths and to enhance the four pillar industries, namely financial services, logistics, tourism, and business support and professional services.
40. Human capital is the most valuable resource for our pillar industries and sustaining our economic edge. We will continue to invest heavily in education to develop human capital. The estimated expenditure on education will be $61.7 billion for 2009-10, which accounts for the largest share of government expenditure.
41. As a world city, Hong Kong must nurture biliterate talent and equip the younger generation with the abilities of self-learning, innovation and coping with changes. In preparation for the new senior secondary academic structure to be introduced this September, we have earmarked about $7.5 billion to provide professional support to secondary schools and support tertiary institutions in preparing new courses and carrying out infrastructure projects. Upon full implementation of the new structure, an additional annual recurrent funding of about $2 billion will be required to meet the new demand of secondary and tertiary education. We plan to invest around
$950 million in the next few years to implement measures supporting the medium of instruction arrangement for secondary schools and the teaching and learning of English in primary schools. We also plan to invest an additional $21 million each year starting from the next financial year to promote national education, so as to offer more opportunities for teachers and students to join Mainland exchange programmes and study trips.
42. Measures to promote the co-operation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will foster economic development, creating ample business opportunities for the logistics and other service industries of Hong Kong. At the end of last year, I led a business delegation, travelling by land from Nanning in Guangxi through the Friendship Gate to Hanoi in Vietnam. The purpose of the visit was to increase our understanding of economic conditions and the business environment in these areas. We explored business opportunities particularly in logistics and professional services. We will enhance sea, air and land transport networks, including allocating additional resources for air traffic control and enhancing our Shipping Register service, thereby reinforcing Hong Kong's status as a regional logistics hub. We will also strive to introduce more liberalisation measures for early and pilot implementation in the Guangdong Province under CEPA for service industries in support of the service sectors where we have a competitive edge, and continue to work closely with relevant organisations to give our business sectors greater support in expanding access in the Mainland and overseas markets.