Panelists exchange views at the 24th Beijing Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium. （Photo by Zhang Xinglong/China News Service）
Hong Kong leaders and Beijing municipal officials shared their views on deeper cooperation between the two cities during the 24th Beijing Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium at which deals worth billions of dollars were signed on Monday.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-day symposium was held in Beijing and Hong Kong, both online and offline.
During the opening ceremony, 11 projects－including a cooperation agreement and 10 investment projects－were signed with a total contract value of $8.81 billion.
These projects involve several key industries such as biomedicine, artificial intelligence and new energy, which will help drive the high-quality development of the capital's economy.
"As the nation's scientific and technology innovation center, Beijing has been making efforts in the science and technology industry through preferential policies and measures," said Li Zhijie, deputy secretary-general of Beijing municipal government.
"The central government supports Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to form international scientific and technological innovation centers. Beijing and Hong Kong should help cross-border capital flows become more convenient to ensure the development," Li said.
Many projects signed between the two cities are focused on technological innovation.
Pharmaron Inc, a research and development services provider for the life sciences industry, will set up a new medicine research lab in Beijing's Daxing district.
SmartMore, a Hong Kong-based AI company, will set up an R&D headquarters in Beijing to attract top computer and AI talent.
Enterprises from the two cities also have cooperation in automaking and hydrogen energy. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said during the opening ceremony that Beijing and Hong Kong should work more closely in academic and research exchanges as there are leading universities in both cities.
"We can also strengthen cooperation in medicine, culture and arts fields," Lam said.
Initiated in 1997, the symposium has been successfully held annually and serves as a bridge of communication and a platform of cooperation between Beijing and Hong Kong.
In the past two years, the two sides have achieved clear results in economic cooperation.
By September this year, Hong Kong investors have established 17,782 enterprises in Beijing and made up over $114 billion, or 58.1 percent of all capital investment, in Beijing, from outside the mainland.
In the first nine months, Hong Kong investors have established 576 enterprises in Beijing with a total investment of about $10.6 billion, which represents a year-on-year increase of 27.4 percent.