HC Deb 17 November 1992 vol 214 cc162-3W
Mr. Renton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospects for economic, political and democratic growth in Hong Kong as outlined in the Governor's speech last month to the Legislative Council; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad

The Government fully endorse the economic, social and political policies for Hong Kong set out in the Governor's address to the Legislative Council on 7 October.

The economic prospects of Hong Kong are very encouraging. Hong Kong's projected annual GDP growth between now and 1997 is expected to average 5 per cent. in real terms. The growing economic co-operation between the territory and southern China has enabled Hong Kong to benefit from the remarkable rates of growth in China in recent years.

The best way to protect Hong Kong's prosperity and stability in the years ahead is to maintain the territory's way of life. The Governor made a number of proposals in his speech aimed at making the administration of Hong Kong more effective and broadening the participation of Hong Kong people in running their own affairs. We consider that these proposals are consistent with the joint declaration and the basic law. The Governor has made clear that he is willing to consider alternative proposals if these meet the requirement of being open, fair and commanding widespread support in Hong Kong.

Mr. Marlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Hong Kong citizens have applied for United Kingdom passports; what is the likely proportion that will be granted passports; and how many dependants are likely to attach to each passport granted.

Mr. Goodlad

Some 66,511 Hong Kong residents have applied to date for British citizenship in the first phase of the British nationality scheme under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990. About 39,418 of them are expected to be successful in their application.

Present indications are that the principal beneficiaries each have two dependants on average.

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