Bay area a key pillar for Belt and Road’s goals
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will play a key role in supporting the fast development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, helping the initiative to reach its goals in trade, investment and regional connectivity, senior officials said.
Qiu Zhaoxian, vice-president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade’s Guangdong branch, said the 2017 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo will create more opportunities for promoting trade, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges between Chinese companies and those in Africa, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific Islands.
Business delegations from 75 countries and regions will attend this year’s expo and forums. Countries such as Russia, Iran, Mongolia and Romania are setting up exhibitions for the first time at this year’s four-day event.
“Through the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong can be used as an international financial center and Macao as an international tourism and leisure center for Guangdong province’s more rapid development,” said Wu Jun, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Commerce.
Senior government officials from 13 countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative have confirmed that they will attend the expo. More than 20 international chambers of commerce and business alliances have signed memorandums of understanding with their Chinese counterparts to train more Chinese-speaking staff, aiming to facilitate cultural exchange, as well as business and tourism activities.
“The context is the full implementation of innovation-driven development strategies in China,” said Lin Jiang, deputy director of the Center for Studies of Hong Kong, Macao and Pearl River Delta at Sun Yat-sen University. “Against this backdrop, the formulation of a development plan for the bay area has far-reaching significance, in terms of integrating existing regional economic and industrial resources in China to cope with new challenges related to global industrial transformation and upgrading.”