Greater Bay Area: Entrepreneurs from HK & Macao eye mainland opportunities
With a population of 70 million and an annual GDP of 1.5 trillion US dollars, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area grants big potential and opportunities for new start-ups. Many entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao are now flocking to the mainland to start their own businesses. CGTN's He Weiwei has more.
"The greater bay area policy is the greatest opportunity I'd probably get in my lifetime."
Terence Chan, a Hong Kong architect, established his own design company in HK in 2014. Four years later he set up a new one in Guangzhou. The reason he came to the mainland was simple: he wanted to grow faster.
TERENCE CHAN, DESIGN DIRECTOR PRIME DESIGN CONSULTANCY LTD. "We were doing quite well in Hong Kong. But maybe in five years' time, or ten years, we'll probably remain the same. I didn't want that, we wanted to expand our market. When I first came to the mainland, I could not believe how big the market was. I spent three months, I've reached more designs than in HK within a year. So I keep telling my friends, if you are struggling in HK, if you feel that HK is good, you should come to the mainland to check it out."
Now his business runs smoothly. But does coming to the mainland mean giving up the HK market? Terence believes the business on both sides of the border is more like a complementary collaboration than competition.
TERENCE CHAN, DESIGN DIRECTOR PRIME DESIGN CONSULTANCY LTD. "We're still running HK projects, we use HK team to explore overseas market. Of course, mainland is also very important, because of cheaper labor, lower cost, and massive market."
Terence didn't achieve his success all on his own. A HK & Macao Youth Association in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, helped him a lot. The non-profit incubator for entrepreneurs offers necessary guidance in business, legal issues, accounting and even daily life.
JACK LAM, DIRECTOR HONG KONG & MACAO YOUTH ASSOCIATION, TIANHE DISTRICT OF GUANGZHOU "The blueprint of the greater bay area brings massive business space for young startups, and there will be an increasing demand for such talent. We help them get familiar with the market here and make their work easier."
The association received strong support from the local government as well. Established in 2017, the youth association has helped bring more than 60 projects to fruition, with 20 more on the way. It also holds coaching camps for entrepreneurs from HK and Macao.
HO PAK NGOK MACAO ENTREPRENEUR "I come from Macao. The camp lets us visit some companies in mainland cities within the greater bay area, it's a good chance to talk face to face with local companies."
YE ZHENGQIAO HONG KONG ENTREPRENEUR "I'm running a pet App in Guangzhou, on this trip I want to look for other potential business partners for collaboration."
Guangzhou's government announced in June that they will invest one billion yuan in HK and Macao startups. Already within the Greater Bay area, ten entrepreneurship centers like this were officially launched, with more on the way. The region is ready to embrace more youth and economic vitality. HWW, CGTN, GZ.