Hong Kong can play a key role in fulfilling China’s goals under the Greater Bay Area plan, given its established strengths as an international city, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Wednesday.
During a trip to Guangdong province to discuss issues related to Beijing’s plan for joint development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area, Leung said Hong Kong is confident that it can make great contributions to the new national strategic initiative.
Hong Kong’s advantages mainly lie in finance and professional services, strengths that make the place stand out from the other cities in the Bay Area, the chief executive said.
The comments were made in Guangzhou as a delegation led by Leung met with senior officials of the Guangdong provincial government to exchange views on the planned integration scheme for the Pearl River Delta region.
Leung and his delegation, which comprised more than 30 people, began on Wednesday a three-day trip that will see them visit six cities in Guangdong as part of preparations for the integration scheme.
In a speech, Leung said reform and opening-up of the mainland over the past decades has benefited Hong Kong to a great extent and that the Bay Area plan can help both sides become even closer partners in economic development, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
As such, Hong Kong can definitely be a major contributor to the development plan, he said.
To avoid vicious competition, there should be “dislocation development”, under which all cities in the area should join hands to cooperate while exploiting particular advantages of each place, he said.
Agreeing with what Leung said, Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui told the meeting that dislocation development means each city should position itself differently to avoid overlaps of expertise.
Ma said he expects the Bay Area development plan to bring Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau closer. The ultimate goal is to achieve free flow of people, goods and capital in the area, he said.
The Hong Kong delegation is scheduled to visit Foshan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen on Thursday and Zhongshan and Zhuhai on Friday.
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