CE: Promote high-level co-operation and high-quality development in GBA to jointly achieve another leap forward (with photos/videos)


     The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, led a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government delegation to visit Guangzhou and Shenzhen today (February 23), meeting leaders of Guangdong Province and Shenzhen to exchange views on deepening Hong Kong’s co-operation with both places. This is Mr Lee’s first visit to Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) since taking office.

     Members of the HKSAR Government delegation include the Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Cheuk Wing-hing; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau; the Secretary for Education, Dr Choi Yuk-lin; the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong; the Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms Carol Yip; and the Under Secretary for Security, Mr Michael Cheuk.

     In the morning, Mr Lee and the delegation took a high-speed train at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and departed Hong Kong for Guangzhou. Upon arrival, Mr Lee met the Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, Mr Huang Kunming; and the Deputy Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Weizhong. Hong Kong and Guangdong agreed to hold the next round of Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in the near future to further deepen co-operation between the two places.

     Mr Lee expressed his gratitude to Guangdong Province for its full support to the HKSAR when Hong Kong’s epidemic situation was of the most severe last year, and for its co-ordination on all fronts in the process of the resumption of normal travel. He said that since the full resumption of travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, people-to-people exchanges between Hong Kong and Guangdong have grown rapidly, and various economic activities and exchanges of business and tourism have been enlivened, benefitting different sectors and members of the public in Hong Kong. Noting that Hong Kong has a close bond and a shared future with Guangdong, Mr Lee said that he was pleased to continue forging ahead and strengthening high-level interactions with Guangdong.

     Mr Lee then introduced to leaders of Guangdong Province measures in the Policy Address on promoting Hong Kong’s integration into the national development, including the establishment of the Steering Group on Integration into National Development. The Group is chaired by him, with three Secretaries of Departments as deputies, and aims to strengthen top-level co-ordination and leadership and to promote and supervise work on integrating into the national development from a macro perspective.

     During the meeting, Mr Lee said that the implementation of the exit endorsement for talents travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao in Mainland cities of the GBA on a pilot basis facilitates Hong Kong’s further integration into the national development and brings together talents for exchanges in Hong Kong. He looks forward to Guangdong and Hong Kong continuing to work together to promote the interaction of talents within the GBA, especially to facilitate talents in Hong Kong to work and exchange in Mainland cities in the GBA.

     Mr Lee also expressed his gratitude to the Guangdong Provincial Government for its strong support to the Quota-free Scheme for Hong Kong Private Cars Travelling to Guangdong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), noting that the scheme leads to considerable enhancement in utilising the HZMB and promoting connectivity within the GBA. Guangdong and Hong Kong strive to announce the detailed arrangement of the scheme in the first quarter this year and implement the scheme within the year.

     Mr Huang hosted lunch for Mr Lee and the delegation after the meeting.

     In the afternoon, Mr Lee attended a gathering with senior members of Hong Kong media organisations visiting Guangzhou. Mr Lee said that he hopes to commence high-level exchanges between Hong Kong and GBA cities with this visit, so as to promote high-level co-operation and high-quality development in the GBA, and jointly achieve another leap forward. He would visit other GBA Mainland cities and the Macao Special Administrative Region as soon as practicable, including leading senior officials of the HKSAR and members of the Legislative Council to visit the GBA in April, which will be the first large-scale visit to GBA Mainland cities after the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

     Mr Lee and the delegation then departed for Shenzhen and met with the Deputy Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and the Secretary of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee, Mr Meng Fanli; and the Deputy Secretary of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Qin Weizhong, to exchange views on Hong Kong’s co-operation with Shenzhen in areas including higher education, finance, tourism, development of the Northern Metropolis, innovation and technology (I&T) and intellectual property (IP).

     Mr Lee said that it is important for the HKSAR to continue strengthening exchanges with GBA Mainland cities, particularly Shenzhen. The Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting 2023 was held in Hong Kong yesterday, after which three memoranda of understanding were signed, covering the areas of higher education, youth internship in financial institutions in Shenzhen, and tourism co-operation. The Meeting demonstrated that Hong Kong and Shenzhen are proactively seeking better development to the people of the two places through synergised co-operation. Mr Lee hopes that Hong Kong and Shenzhen will continue to press ahead the work of working groups actively and pragmatically, and enhance the exchanges in different areas under the principle of complementarity and mutual benefits.

     Mr Lee added that the Northern Metropolis, as a new engine for the future development of Hong Kong, is significant in promoting economic co-operation between Hong Kong and GBA cities, particularly Shenzhen. The close co-ordination with Shenzhen is essential in the planning of cross-boundary railways and control points, development of economic sectors, as well as eco-recreation and tourism. He hopes that Hong Kong and Shenzhen will strengthen their connection through the Task Force for Collaboration on the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, with a view to jointly promoting the development of the Northern Metropolis and enhancing the co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

     Mr Lee said that the HKSAR Government will continue to deepen I&T co-operation and exchanges with the Mainland, particularly GBA Mainland cities, including working together with Shenzhen in full steam to push forward the construction of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone at the Lok Ma Chau Loop, with a view to exploring the trial implementation of cross-boundary I&T policy, premised on the basis of “one zone, two parks”. The first three buildings of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park will be completed in phases from the end of 2024 onwards. 

     He welcomed the promulgation of the “Opinion on Providing Financial Support for the Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone” today, and expressed gratitude to the Central Government for its continuous support to Hong Kong’s integration into the national development of the reform and opening up of the financial market.

     Mr Lee was also pleased to note that the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen Municipality jointly promulgated the 16 Co-operation Measures for the Development of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Intellectual Property and Innovation Hub today, covering areas of co-operation in IP protection, exploitation and transformation, exchange and study, promotion and education, and IP trading. The measures pave the way for the IP sector of Hong Kong to explore opportunities in the GBA, and at the same time, supports the IP sector of Qianhai to leverage on Hong Kong’s advantages and platform in connecting the world to conduct IP trading activities. Noting that the National 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong to develop into a regional IP trading centre, he believes that relevant measures will facilitate the IP sectors of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to jointly promote the development of IP innovation, with a view to bringing Hong Kong’s strengths into full play and promoting the development of IP trading in the GBA.

     The delegation led by Mr Lee then attended dinner hosted by Mr Meng and returned to Hong Kong by land in the evening.