Greater Bay Area plan un­veiled in early 2019

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Top News - JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY

The much-an­tic­i­pated devel­op­ment plan of the Guang­dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area is likely to be re­leased early next year, pro­vid­ing firm pol­icy sup­port and fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties for the 11-city clus­ter, Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

Lam said that with devel­op­ment of the Greater Bay Area en­ter­ing a new level, the fu­ture of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion will be more closely tied to the coun­try’s over­all devel­op­ment, and the re­gion will more proac­tively seek op­por­tu­ni­ties in that con­text.

The SAR’s top of­fi­cial spoke to re­porters be­fore she left for Bei­jing on Satur­day for her an­nual re­port to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

On her four-day visit, Lam said she will meet with Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Premier Li Ke­qiang on Mon­day to present de­tails of Hong Kong’s lat­est devel­op­ments in pol­i­tics, econ­omy and so­cial af­fairs.

Lam noted that next year is the 70th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China. She said more op­por­tu­ni­ties lie ahead for Hong Kong, and the SAR ap­pre­ci­ates the con­tin­u­ous sup­port of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. She said Hong Kong will make full use of those op­por­tu­ni­ties.

She said she will also brief Xi on the thoughts and sug­ges­tions of peo­ple from var­i­ous sec­tors in Hong Kong. There have been vi­brant discussions in the city about how it should po­si­tion it­self to join the coun­try’s fur­ther re­form and open­ing-up and strengthen its own com­pet­i­tive­ness. These came af­ter Xi ex­pressed high ex­pec­ta­tions for the SAR’s role in the coun­try’s next round of re­form and open­ing-up. Xi made the re­mark last month when meet­ing with a Hong Kong del­e­ga­tion led by Lam.

In Novem­ber, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment re­leased a list of 100 hon­orees from around the coun­try and sought sug­ges­tions from the pub­lic un­til Nov 30. The list is in­tended to com­mend the hon­orees for their out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to re­form and open­ing-up. The names of some of those from Hong Kong who were on the ten­ta­tive list in­cluded the for­mer di­rec­tor gen­eral of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion Mar­garet Chan Fung Fu-chun, 71; busi­ness ty­coon Tsang Hin-chi, 84; and the late in­dus­tri­al­ist Fok Ying-tung.

Tam Yiu-chung, a mem­ber of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture, was among the Hong Kong del­e­gates who had been re­ceived by Xi. Tam said the pro­posed com­men­da­tion list re­flected the coun­try’s con­vic­tion to carry out re­form and openingup. In­clu­sion of peo­ple from Hong Kong rec­og­nized the city’s role in the coun­try’s ad­vance­ment, and en­cour­ages Hong Kong to con­tinue its ef­forts, Tam added.

He said he hoped to see more con­crete poli­cies in the Greater Bay Area devel­op­ment plan to re­lax re­stric­tions across the bound­aries and en­sure smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plan.

Tam said the in­te­gra­tion and com­ple­men­tary strengths of Guang­dong prov­ince, Hong Kong and Ma­cao will ben­e­fit the en­tire Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong neu­ro­sci­en­tist Nancy Ip Yuk-yu, a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Academy of Sci­ences, said abun­dant op­por­tu­ni­ties await Hong Kong’s sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy sec­tor given the up­com­ing devel­op­ment plan for the Greater Bay Area and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s fa­vor­able poli­cies sup­port­ing Hong Kong-main­land co­op­er­a­tion in those fields.

Ip said the devel­op­ment plan of the Greater Bay Area will fur­ther boost ex­changes and col­lab­o­ra­tion in the re­gion and ac­cel­er­ate Hong Kong’s progress in its bid to be­come an in­ter­na­tional sci­ence and in­no­va­tion cen­ter.

Ip, also vice-pres­i­dent for re­search and grad­u­ate stud­ies at the Hong Kong Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, said co­or­di­nated devel­op­ment be­tween Hong Kong and main­land cities will en­hance the in­ter­na­tional stand­ing of the whole re­gion and con­trib­ute to the coun­try’s over­all devel­op­ment.

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