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Constructing IT Economic Belt in Greater Bay Area

By Dr Jonathan Choi, Chairman of CGCC

At the 19th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping mapped out a 30-year ambitious development plan for China and stressed his support for Hong Kong and Macao to further integrate into the country’s overall development through the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The Chief Executive also mentioned in her first Policy Address that the HKSAR Government will actively take part in the GBA’s development, especially in innovation and technology (IT), to create favourable conditions for Hong Kong’s industrial diversification. It can be anticipated that the GBA plan will bring unprecedented opportunities for Hong Kong’s economy. In particular, we can combine the strengths of Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the IT field and work together to give new impetus to the GBA’s development.

Set up a coordination platform for GBA development

CGCC always keep an eye on and support the GBA’s development. I am glad to see that the Policy Address proposed setting up a GBA Development Office, which will be responsible for coordination with the relevant Central authorities, the Guangdong Government and the Macao Government. The Office will proactively approach trade associations and professional bodies to coordinate efforts related to the implementation of various plans so as uncover new opportunities for Hong Kong people and businesses.

The Policy Address also specifically proposed building a platform in the GBA to further firm up IT cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on the basis of the Lok Ma Chau Loop's Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HK-SZ IT Park) to integrate upstream, midstream and downstream industrial development and build an international IT center in the area.

In my CPPCC proposal submitted in March this year, I have also suggested that we should leverage the strengths of Guangdong and Hong Kong in the IT field to produce maximum synergies and develop the HK-SZ IT Park into a technology industrial zone with the highest international standards in China. I agree very much with the policy measures put forward in the Policy Address to promote Hong Kong’s IT industry development. I believe the measures will help lead Hong Kong’s IT development to a new milestone and lay an important foundation for deepening IT cooperation in the GBA.

Maximize synergies between Hong Kong and Shenzhen

In fact, Guangdong has implemented an innovation-driven development strategy in recent years and adopted the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor plan recently to further enhance the province’s nationwide leading edge in IT development and nurture internationally leading high-tech enterprises. Hong Kong is adjacent to Shenzhen and also has comparative advantages such as world-class higher education, free flow of funds and intellectual property rights protection. The two places can reinforce their complementary strengths through the GBA development platform and fully align with the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor to provide a new point of breakthrough for promoting a new round of IT cooperation.

Through the HK-SZ IT Park platform, Hong Kong and Shenzhen can use Hong Kong’s appeal and, supported by Shenzhen or even the entire Guangdong Province’s technology industry cluster and huge market size, attract Mainland and international R&D institutions and technology companies to locate here with a simple approval system and preferential policies as well as attract high-end talents by facilitating the work-visa applications of R&D personnel.

The governments of the two places can also step up communication and coordination with the business community for commercialization of scientific research results from the Lok Ma Chau Loop and encourage the IT industries in Guangdong and Hong Kong to fortify cooperation with the traditional industries in the region and, together with Hong Kong’s functions in finance and professional operation management, encourage related IT products and companies to carry out IPO financing and advertising & promotion in Hong Kong to form an economic belt for cooperation and development of IT industries, as well as providing one-stop support and auxiliary services.

In conclusion, stronger cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the field of scientific research will help enhance the development potential of IT industries in the GBA and gradually develop the GBA into a high-tech industrial development leader with the highest international standards in China and capture the opportunities arising from the country’s progress towards a new era and innovative development.

This article was first published in the magazine CGCC Vision November 2017 issue. Please click to read the full article.

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