Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 50th terms of office) August 2017
To maximize the economic benefits of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, it is essential that the regional city cluster must break away from past limitations, so that the level of cooperation can transcend the traditional Pearl River Delta model.
The Mainland attaches high importance to the cooperation amongst Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. Hence, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area must develop with a macroscopic vision and an innovative mindset in deepening the cooperation within the city cluster. Hong Kong should also capitalize on its strengths and coordinate with the competitive advantages of other cities, so that every party could join hands to develop the Greater Bay Area into a major engine to drive the economic reform and continuous growth of the country.
Greater Bay Area must develop at the forefront
To maximize the economic benefits of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, it is essential that the regional city cluster must break away from past limitations, so that the level of cooperation can transcend the traditional Pearl River Delta model. Not only should it rival or surpass the world's major bay areas in terms of economic scale, but more importantly, it should complement the country to take up an even more important functional role in the division of labor in the world economy.
The SAR Government could seek support from the Central Government in piloting fully open policies in designated zones of the Greater Bay Area, integrating the various systems of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, and gradually expanding its implementation to the entire Bay Area to facilitate convenient exchanges in all aspects. The Central Government may be skeptical about the implementation of a fully open policy due to safety and regulatory concerns, and the SAR Government should strengthen its communication and cooperation with the Mainland on this issue.
Leveraging Hong Kong’s unique strengths and functional positioning
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area has a diversified industrial cluster. Each city should specifically develop its own positioning and function based on its industrial strengths, and deploy resources to form industrial clusters according to the state of economic development in the Bay Area. Hong Kong can focus on taking the leading role in the scopes of finance, professional services etc. to deepen cooperation in the relevant industries and to maximize the synergy effect.
The SAR Government should strive for expanding the business scope of connectivity in the financial markets of Guangdong and Hong Kong, reinforcing Hong Kong as a major stronghold that connects the Greater Bay Area with the world. We also hope that the authorities could gain support for the full relaxation in recognizing the professional qualifications of Hong Kong in the Greater Bay Area, get Hong Kong to become the arbitration center in the region where commercial contract disputes and legal disputes can be resolved, as well as groom more international legal talents.
Amidst ongoing economic innovation and development, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau should work together to formulate long-term policies, making use of the competitiveness of Hong Kong and combining the leading position of Guangdong in the technology industry to shape the Greater Bay Area into a world-class innovation base in research and development industries. The SAR Government must also fortify Hong Kong’s function as a cross-border e-commerce platform, seeking support for the market access and national treatment commitments in the Mainland, expanding the room for development for e-commerce in the Bay Area, as well as offering the essential fundamentals for Hong Kong to develop high value-added entrepôt logistics services.
“Co-location arrangement” helps promote development of Greater Bay Area
To facilitate Hong Kong’s maximization of its strengths and functions in the Greater Bay Area, it is essential to promote the connections amongst Hong Kong and other cities in the region, so that all parties could complement each other’s strengths, coordinate their development, and fully improve interaction and exchanges. All these could put Hong Kong’s functions and efficiency to full play.
The specific plan of the “co-location arrangement” proposes to establish a Mainland Port Area in the West Kowloon Station of the Express Rail Link. This would significantly shorten the journey time of travelers, which has profound implications for Hong Kong’s involvement in the development of the Greater Bay Area. We hope that all sectors of society could support the swift implementation of the “co-location arrangement”, which would enable an overall increase in cross-border clearance efficiency of the Greater Bay Area.
In conclusion, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau must deepen their cooperation from all directions. Hong Kong should also capitalize on its strengths in full to bolster its functional position in the Bay Area. It must also work closely with other cities, so that all could seize the new and ample opportunities brought about by the planning and construction of the Greater Bay Area.