Chief Executive John Lee welcomed the central government's promulgation of the Overall Development Plan for the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone and the Overall Development Plan for the Guangdong-Macao Zone in Hengqin on December 21.

Mr Lee said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will lead all sectors of the community to seize the opportunities brought about by the development of Qianhai and Hengqin, captialise on Hong Kong's distinctive advantages under the "one country, two systems" principle and join hands in taking forward the high-quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).

The Qianhai Overall Development Plan provides a comprehensive view of the strategic positioning, development objectives, spatial layout, industry planning, business environment, urban planning, quality living environment, and governance model of the Qianhai Co-operation Zone, with the objective of promoting the demonstrative and leading roles of Qianhai in the GBA development, further deepening the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Noting that President Xi Jinping has emphasised high-quality co-ordinated regional development and cares for Qianhai's development and opening up, Mr Lee said the development plan sets a clear direction for Qianhai in this regard.

“The Hong Kong SAR Government is grateful for the central government for the policy initiatives outlined in the plan, which are not just of benefit to Hong Kong but will also contribute to the development of the GBA and our country. 

“In particular, measures in financial services, legal services, professional services and information technology services as well as those facilitating Hong Kong and Macau residents setting up businesses, working and living in Qianhai, and Hong Kong residents of foreign nationalities travelling in the Mainland cities of the GBA, will remarkably expand the scope of development for Hong Kong talent and enterprises.”

As announced in the 2023 Policy Address, the Northern Metropolis will adopt an industry-driven approach as its key planning axle and integrate deeply with the overall planning of the GBA to forge a major hub for Hong Kong’s integration into the overall development of the country.

As one of the four major zones in the metropolis, the high-end professional services and logistics hub covering Hung Shui Kiu and the surrounding area and linking the Qianhai Co-operation Zone will provide financial and professional services, in addition to capitalising on the locational advantages of the boundary control points for developing the modern logistics industry.

Mr Lee noted that with the promulgation of the development plan, Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation will scale new heights at which both cities can fully leverage the dual engines roles to drive the development in the GBA, developing the bay area into a world-class innovation platform and growth pole.

Hong Kong will consolidate and enhance its advantages and deepen co-operation with Shenzhen, so as to support Qianhai in seeking more policy breakthroughs for implementation on a pilot basis, Mr Lee said.

It will also assist Qianhai in expediting the alignment of rules and harmonisation of mechanisms, promoting a deeper level of opening up and innovation of the financial industry, accelerating the development of the science and technology services industry, raising the level of internationalisation of the professional service sector as well as broadening the opening up in areas such as trade and legal services, he added.

As regards the Hengqin Overall Development Plan that will greatly promote new industries for Macau's economic diversification, it has demonstrated the country’s key strategic planning to enrich the practice of "one country, two systems" which will inject an essential impetus for the long-term development of Macau.

The Chief Executive also pointed out that Hong Kong and Macau, as two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China, have all along upheld the principle of “one country” while leveraging the benefits of “two systems”.

Noting that both cities embrace the role of the GBA core cities and core engines for regional development under the complementarity principle, Mr Lee said Hong Kong will grasp the unlimited opportunities brought about by co-ordinated regional development so as to contribute to the high-quality development of Hong Kong and the entire GBA.


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