The Government remains committed to building new infrastructure and
improving existing facilities to meet the needs of Hong Kong's economic
development. It continues to invest heavily on infrastructure development.
Work on major infrastructure projects was on schedule in 2006. Construction of
Route 8 and the third phase of Central Reclamation were in full swing. The
Government is pressing ahead with other major capital works projects which include
the Tamar development project, the replacement and rehabilitation of water mains
stage 2, Prince of Wales Hospital's extension block, redevelopment of the Lo Wu
Correctional Institution and Customs Headquarters Building in North Point.
It will cost $9 billion to build these projects. Work will start in 2007. The projects
will provide a substantial number of jobs for people in the construction industry.
Work on improving the environment continued throughout the year. The
Government pressed on with its territory-wide greening programme which included
the planting of millions of plants in urban areas and countryside. About 10 million
plants were planted in 2006. The Government organises a series of community
activities to promote greening. Some 90 such activities were held this year alone.
In addition, the Government is actively pursuing the development and
implementation of Greening Master Plans (GMPs) for the vast majority of urban
areas. Works for Central and Tsim Sha Tsui are due for completion in early 2007.
Funds were also approved in December 2006 for studies of GMPs for Sheung
Wan/Wan Chai/Causeway Bay and Mong Kok/Yau Ma Tei to be carried out in 2007.
The Government is committed to the highest standards of slope safety. Starting
in 2000, the Ten-Year Extended Landslip Preventive Measures Programme which
involves spending of up to $9 billion by 2010 has progressed well. Some
1 500 substandard government slopes have been upgraded and landscaped and over
1 800 private slopes have been safety-screened since 2000.
Construction site safety has continued to improve. The accident rate of public
works carried out under contracts in 2006 was 13 accidents per 1 000 workers, a
decrease of 24 per cent over 2005. It was the seventh consecutive year of decrease.
The construction design management system for strengthening safe practices at
construction sites and during construction has been implemented in major public
In addition, a package of measures for controlling nuisances such as air, noise
and waste-water pollution created during construction has been implemented
together with an incentive scheme called 'Pay for Environment'. A series of training
courses has been developed in collaboration with a local training institute to help site
supervisory staff better understand the need for environmental protection. As a
general policy, all new government building projects and major installations are to
adopt energy efficient features and, where applicable, renewable energy technologies
in their designs to save energy.
The Government, working in close partnership with the Provisional Construction
Industry Coordination Board (PCICB), has made notable progress in carrying out most
of the recommendations made by the Construction Industry Review Committee. The
board continues to use its website, www.pcicb.gov.hk to communicate with the
industry's stakeholders and to keep them informed of the latest developments and
Following the passage of the Construction Industry Council Ordinance in May
2006, the Construction Industry Council will be set up in February 2007 to exercise
self-regulation and take charge of the industry's reforms.
Response to the first phase of the Voluntary Subcontractor Registration Scheme
(VSRS), launched in November 2003, has been encouraging. By the end of 2006,
some 3 450 applications for registration were received and 2 931 were approved. The
PCICB is examining plans for the next phase of the VSRS which may include the
setting up of a Premier Register with stricter entry rules and grading based on the
capability of individual subcontractors.
Since the Construction Workers Registration Authority (CWRA) started to register
construction workers in December 2005, more than 125 000 workers have been
registered. The CWRA is planning to implement the prohibition provisions under the
Construction Workers Registration Ordinance in two phases. Under the first phase,
unregistered workers will be prohibited from working at construction sites. Under the
second Phase, those not registered as skilled or semi-skilled workers of a designated
trade will not be allowed to work in that trade.
The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau (ETWB) continued discussions
with stakeholders of the Hong Kong construction industry and the Ministry of
Construction (MoC) on the fourth phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer
Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). Further market liberalisation measures
were secured under Supplement III to CEPA signed on June 27. With the new
agreement, Hong Kong service suppliers are allowed to set up wholly-owned
construction engineering cost consulting enterprises on the Mainland and their
project performance in both places will be recognised for business establishment
purposes. In June, ETWB jointly organised with the MoC and the Ministry of
Commerce a CEPA Forum in Hong Kong to publicise the CEPA policy, implementation
arrangements and issues related to professional qualifications.
During the year, as part of its ongoing promotion of Hong Kong's construction
industry and related services, ETWB organised a large-scale conference on
construction in Urumqi with the MoC. In April, the bureau supported the Hong Kong
Construction Association and the China International Contractors Association to
organise a seminar in Hong Kong for the contractors of the two places to enhance
mutual understanding in preparation for further business collaboration. In June, the
bureau and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore organised a
study mission for the construction industry of Hong Kong and the Mainland to visit
the Philippines and Cambodia to explore together business opportunities there.
ETWB continued to maintain close contact with the MoC and relevant local and
Mainland professional bodies to facilitate mutual recognition of professional
qualifications. Subsequent to the signing of mutual recognition agreements for estate
surveyors, architects, structural engineers, planners and quantity surveyors, building
surveyors also signed similar agreements in June.
The bureau continued to organise with the Shenzhen Construction Bureau and
the Shenzhen Works Bureau the Mainland secondment training programme for its
graduates. The second batch of its architectural and civil engineering graduates
completed successfully a three-month training course in Shenzhen in August. Both
sides agreed to extend the programme gradually to other construction related
disciplines. The first batch of quantity surveying and structural engineering graduates
commenced training in Shenzhen in November. To further promote exchange and
cooperation in the training of professionals, the bureau is planning to extend the
programme to other Mainland cities.