Greater Bay Area plan unveiled in early 2019
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.
Contact the writers at hes[email protected]nadailyhk.com