Date
12 December 2017
Buildings go up in Qianhai, a special economic zone near the border with Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters
Buildings go up in Qianhai, a special economic zone near the border with Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters

Qianhai to complement HK, not compete with it

Qianhai, a special economic zone near the border with Shenzhen, will not compete with Hong Kong in scope but will cooperate to develop land, industries and related policy, Hong Kong Economic Times reported Monday.

Zhang Bei, director of the management authority of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, said the new economic zone is not about to become the next Central.

He said there has been successful cooperation between city centers such as that between London and Canary Wharf, according to the report.

“In the 1980s, Londoners were worried that capital would flow out to Canary Wharf,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

“But they soon realized Canary Wharf helped cement London’s position as a financial hub after financial heavyweights such as Credit Suisse and Bank of America set up shop there.”

Qianhai, which covers 15 square kilometers, the size of 79 Victoria Parks, is the brainchild of President Xi Jinping when he was vice president.

Xi first said the site could become a new Central similar to Hong Kong’s financial and business district, prompting fears in the local population.

In the past 12 months, Qianhai has made 46.5 billion yuan (US$7.47 billion) from five land auctions, with Hong Kong firms such as New World Development Co Ltd. (0017.HK) and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. (1929.HK) taking part but failing to win any plots.

Qianhai’s administrators said they may put another plot up for auction in July and will invite top Hong Kong developers to take part.

Also, they are considering waiving the minimum 5 million yuan registered capital requirement for Hong Kong companies. Professionals and practitioners in industries highly sought after in the zone will enjoy preferential personal income tax rate of 15 percent.

As of early June, Qianhai’s cumulative cross-border renminbi loans registered with banks in Hong Kong had reached 27.1 billion yuan, the report said.

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EL/JP/RA

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