Press Releases

Tony Blair Scholars urged to seize CEPA opportunities

23 July 2003

The Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (“HWL”), Mr Li Ka-shing, held a private meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair today during the premier’s brief stay in Hong Kong. Mr Li was joined by Mr Victor Li, Deputy Chairman of HWL and Mr Canning Fok, Group Managing Director of HWL, for the one-hour meeting.

HWL is by far the largest Asian investor in the UK, with interests in projects worth more than £10 billion. Hutchison has enjoyed a good track record with its UK investment, and projects ranged across several sectors, employing a total of 23,000 staff. HWL is pioneering the roll-out of 3G services in the UK as the operator of the first mobile multi-media 3G services. The Group owns three container terminals, namely Port of Felixstowe, Harwich International Port and Thamesport, retail chains Superdrug and Savers as well as a number of premium property projects in London.

In a separate meeting held this afternoon, Mr Li met a group of 18 Hong Kong scholars of the Chevening Scholarship Scheme, which was strongly supported by Mr Blair to attract more overseas postgraduate students to Britain to follow courses at British universities and higher education facilities.

Mr Li has urged the Chevening scholars to make good use of their professional knowledge and knowhow and seize each and every opportunity brought about by the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the Mainland so as to help Hong Kong through the present economic doldrums.

Mr Li through the Hutchison Group has donated a total of £2.02 million towards the scholarships over a four-year period beginning last year, which has expanded the scheme to include 63 extra scholarships each year for Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese postgraduate students.

The British Government and Cambridge University are making a matching contribution to the scheme.

About one quarter of these new scholarships are being allotted for studies at Cambridge University, which is a staunch supporter of the scholarship scheme.

Mr Li, a strong believer in continuing education and life-long learning programmes, said he was pleased to see that the Hutchison Chevening Scholarships had supported the further education of high-calibre Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese graduates and business managers.

“I hope that the Hutchison Chevening Scholarships will help them broaden their experiences and I also hope that they will contribute their strength and professional knowledge to society after they have completed their studies in the UK,” Mr Li said, adding that he appreciated particularly Cambridge University’s active participation.

The Hutchison Chevening Scholarships, an integral part of the Chevening Scholarships Scheme, started last October and will run for four years.

23 July 2003