Northern Metropolis won’t be loss-making: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Saturday defended the government’s plan to create a high-technology hub in the New Territories, saying it won’t lose money.

While the government has not said how much the Northern Metropolis is expected to cost, Lam told a RTHK programme that land developments in Hong Kong are never loss-making businesses.

“Even building more public housing for sale after developing [the sites] will make profit,” she said.

Lam added the five railway projects in the new metropolitan area can be funded by the “railway-plus-property” model.

The mega-project unveiled in the Policy Address is planned to house 2.5 million people. Housing Secretary Frank Chan said Hongkongers will be able to live in bigger flats as vast plots of land will be available at the site.

Lam said that the city is good at fundraising at a low cost through issuing bonds, and any investor or accountant would see the project as a worthwhile investment.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong leader denied that she needs to be re-elected for her proposals in the Policy Address to be realised, saying she is just trying to pave the way for the city’s future.

Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme, she said there is no rotation of political parties in Hong Kong, and the government should not become a lame duck in the latter part of its term.

The official added they will appoint or promote innovative personnel to help build a future for the SAR.

“The 180,000-strong civil service is still dutiful, but the task to forge a future now outweighs the need to be dutiful,” she said.

“They need to be bold to do the innovative work.”