Hong Kong society sees Greater Bay Area development plan an opportunity for complementary growth
A view of the world's longest cross-sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, in Zhuhai city, South China's Guangdong province, 6 September 2018. [Photo/IC]

HONG KONG -- The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will help Hong Kong to exert its advantages and develop complementarily with other cities in the area, Hong Kong organizations, scholars and businessmen said here on Monday.

China on Monday unveiled the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The plan, an important outline document guiding the current and future cooperation and development of the area, aims to develop the Greater Bay Area, which covers nine cities of Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, into "a role model of high-quality development".

The Hong Kong society have been longing for this blueprint as it offers guidance on how to exert Hong Kong's advantages, said Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress.

The Greater B[MG_SEO]ay Area provides a much larger stage for Hong Kong's development, he said, adding that with greater connectivity between the cities in the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong can better interact with other cities and give a full play to its advantages in areas such as finance and scientific innovation.

Fang Zhou, research director of the Hong Kong-based One-Country-Two-Systems Research Institute, said the development of the Greater Bay Area will widen Hong Kong's economic structure and living space and will provide young people with new opportunities, allowing Hong Kong residents to enjoy fruitful results of the country's economic development and supporting the SAR's long-term prosperity and stability.

Different sectors of Hong Kong also welcomed the promulgation of the outline plan, anticipating more opportunities brought by the Greater Bay Area development.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said in a statement released Monday evening that with the development of financial services as a major element, the outline development plan sSMƬupports consolidating Hong Kong's status as an international financial center, a global offshore Renminbi business hub, an international asset management center as well as a risk management center.

The document also supports the establishment of a platform for investment and financing serving the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Chinese mainland enterprises in establishing capital operation and corporate treasury center in Hong Kong, the HKMA said, pledging to "proactively follow up with the Chinese mainland authorities to implement the related policy initiatives."

Stephanie Young, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, said that the blueprint along with the two newly-launched transportation infrastructure, namely the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, will further tie up cities and areas in the Greater Bay Area, which "will certainly bring more tourists from the Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong."

Witman Hung, who has been working for years as a liaison officer between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on modern service industry cooperation, said that with "developing an international innovation and technology hub" as one of its priorities, the Greater Bay Area will provide a conducive environment for Hong Kong's scientific innovative industry.

"The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has a unique advantage in which cities in the area are inter-complementary and can form a complete and integrated industrial chain for technological innovation," he said, adding that Hong Kong, strong in both basic scientific research and financing, can play a dual role.

Abraham Lam, a young entrepreneur from Hong Kong who has started a business in Shenzhen, said that with connectivity between cities in the Greater Bay Area being improved, he has seen opportunities to expand his business by leveraging the complementary strengths of different cities in the area.
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