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  • PRD in Perspective

    Seizing the Development Opportunities in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area

    PRD Council Dr Daniel Yip

       In the latest Government Working Report presented at the fifth session of the 12th National People’s Congress in March this year, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang pledged to promote greater integration between Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland. The Government will press ahead with the development plan for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. On 1 July, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the three governments signed the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area under the witness of President Xi Jinping.

       The Framework Agreement establishes seven key co-operation areas in the development of the Bay Area, including promoting infrastructure connectivity; enhancing the level of market integration; building a global technology and innovation hub; building a system of modern industries through coordinated development; jointly building a quality living circle to provide an ideal place for living, working and travelling; cultivating new strengths in international co-operation; and supporting the establishment of major co-operation platforms.

       Deeply intrigued by the development of the Bay Area, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) has collected and submitted members’ views to the then Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So as early as May. The FHKI also submitted another detailed opinions on the support and promotion of industrial transformation and upgrading to the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip in September.

       Last month, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Guangdong Provincial People’s Government Liao Jingshan and Deputy Director-General Huang Duanlian visited the FHKI and exchanged views with the leaders of FHKI and its PRD Council and Mainland Affairs Committee. They reckoned that the Bay Area is an important national development strategy and will be led by the NDRC. The overall planning will be coordinated by the Central Government according to the advantages of each region, with developing high-end manufacturing and innovative technologies in Guangdong, tourism and EU trade platform in Macau, and international financial, trade and maritime services in Hong Kong.

       The three governments will carry out 100 projects in accordance with the seven key co-operation areas under the above-mentioned positions of each region, and will formulate policies to facilitate the flow of people, goods, information and capital between the three regions. Currently, the HKSAR Government is actively consulting opinions from various industries and stakeholders.

       As far as local entrepreneurs are concerned, the development plan of the Bay Area is closely related to their business operation and has a significant uplifting effect on the economic competitiveness of the region. Therefore, we will continue to play our role in organising activities, providing information, enhancing publicity of the Bay Area to our members, and collecting constructive policy suggestions for Guangdong and Hong Kong governments’ consideration.

       It is believed that the officials from Central, Guangdong and HKSAR governments will hold specific forum if the project and policy lists can be set out by the end of this year. Since opportunity only knocks once, I recommend members to stay tuned and adjust their business strategies in order to seize the opportunities arising from the development of the Bay Area.

     
     

    Dr Daniel Yip

    PRD Council Chairman

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