Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Monday urged various sectors in Hong Kong to seize the opportunities from new plans concerning Qianhai and Hengqin and push forward the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
China's central authorities have issued two new plans for further developing a cooperation zone of Shenzhen and Hong Kong and for building a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin, respectively.
The promulgation of the Qianhai plan will foster Hong Kong-Shenzhen cooperation at a higher level under which the two cities can serve as "dual engines" to drive development in the Greater Bay Area, Lam said.
The plan will enrich the implementation of "one country, two systems", deepen reform and expand the scope of opening up, and enhance the level of cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, she said.
Not only does the plan give full play to Hong Kong's long-held advantages in high-end professional services, and elevate the function of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, it also promotes long-term development for Hong Kong professional services, Lam said.
Hong Kong will capitalize on its own advantages to assist in promoting full liberalization of trade in services in Qianhai, greater mutual access of the financial markets and a higher level of opening up in legal matters, thereby expanding the room for development for professionals in different sectors and enterprises in Hong Kong, Lam said.
The HKSAR government will discuss with relevant central government ministries to achieve further liberalization of trade in services as set out in the Qianhai plan through the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, Lam said, promising to join hands with relevant sectors to offer views and coordinate efforts to complement the expansion of the Qianhai cooperation zone in areas of financial services, innovation and technology, legal services and business environment.
Lam also said the Hengqin plan will create favorable conditions for the diversified development of Macao and Hong Kong's business and professional sectors will also feel excited about this development.
The HKSAR government will explore how Hong Kong can provide support for and contribute to the implementation of the Hengqin plan through the existing cooperation mechanism with the Macao Special Administrative Region government, Lam said.