Carrie Lam urges Hong Kong to seize opportunities from new Qianhai, Hengqin development plans
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Monday urged various sectors in Hong Kong to seize the opportunities from new plans concerning Qianhai and Hengqin and push forward the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
China's central authorities have issued two new plans to further develop a cooperation zone in Shenzhen and Hong Kong and build a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin.
The promulgation of the Qianhai plan will foster Hong Kong-Shenzhen cooperation at a higher level under which the two cities can serve as "dual engines" to drive development in the Greater Bay Area, Lam said.
The plan will enrich the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems," deepen reform and expand the scope of opening-up, and enhance the level of cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, she said.
Not only does the plan give full play to Hong Kong's long-held advantages in high-end professional services and elevate the function of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, but it also promotes long-term development for Hong Kong professional services, Lam said.
Hong Kong will capitalize on its own advantages to assist in promoting the full liberalization of trade in services in Qianhai, greater mutual access of the financial markets and a higher level of opening-up in legal matters, thereby expanding the room for development for professionals in different sectors and enterprises in Hong Kong, Lam said.
Lam also said the Hengqin plan will create favorable conditions for the diversified development of Macao and Hong Kong's business and professional sectors will also feel excited about this development.
'The biggest opportunity for Hong Kong lies in the mainland'
The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR said Monday that the Qianhai plan will enrich the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" and offer Hong Kong, which has returned from chaos to stability and is marching toward greater prosperity, a broader arena of development.
The plan will deepen Shenzhen-Hong Kong services cooperation and bolster Hong Kong's economic and social development, a spokesperson of the liaison office said in a statement, stressing that the central government always supports Hong Kong in developing its economy and improving people's livelihood and has rolled out a series of favorable policies for the global financial hub.
The new blueprint emphasizes bringing Hong Kong's traditional advantages of high-end professional services into full play and will deepen opening-up in areas, such as services trade and finance and legal affairs, in the zone, offering huge opportunities for Hong Kong's professionals and enterprises and helping Hong Kong to further integrate into the "domestic circulation" and "dual circulation" development, the spokesperson said.
The biggest opportunity for Hong Kong lies in the mainland, the spokesperson noted. The broad markets and abundant resources of the mainland are the golden keys for Hong Kong to break its development bottleneck, and Hong Kong will be able to give full play to its unique advantages and have a stronger impetus to integrate into the national development, the spokesperson said.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: A view of the OCT Harbor near Qianhai in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. /CFP)