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Hong Kong

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the population of Hong Kong, the annual exports figure and the Hong Kong Government's budget for 1952; what are the figures for population, annual exports and budget for 1977; if he will outline the Hong Kong Government's programme from 1977 to 1983 setting out the details of the expected growth in communications, new towns, social programmes, housing, education, hospitals, clinics, &c.; and how the programme from 1977 to 1983 will be financed.

The population of Hong Kong in 1952 was 2·126 million and in 1976, the last date for which figures are available, 4·443 million.Annual exports, including re-exports, were HK$2,899 million in 1952 and HK$41,557 million in 1976.The budget was HK$288 million in 1952–53 and HK$8,245 million in 1977–78.79 new secondary schools will be completed between 1977 and 1981. These and other measures will enable every primary school leaver from 1978 onwards to have at least three years' secondary education. A new technical institute will be opened this year and another in 1979, and places for a further 10,000 full-time or part-time students will be provided at the Hong Kong Polytechnic by 1980–81. An additional 1,800 places will be provided at the two universities in Hong Kong over the same period.Three major hospitals will be opened between 1977 and 1984: a mental hospital with 1,300 beds; a teaching hospital with 1,200 beds; and a district hospital with 1,200 beds. A health centre which will provide 210 additional beds and special rehabilitation facilities will be completed in 1981. In all, the number of hospital beds will be increased from 19,063 at present to 23,594 by 1984. The completion of five new clinics and three poly-clinics in the next five years will increase the total number of consulting rooms from 227 at present to 305 by 1983.New public housing will be completed for approximately 1,330,000 persons by 1983.The programmes outlined above are currently being financed from general revenue. It is expected that there will be a shortfall of HK$650 million in 1978–79 and another of HK$200 million in 1979–80. If necessary, these shortfalls may be met by borrowings on capital account or by drawing on the fiscal reserves.