Photo taken on Aug. 27, 2019 shows the scenery near the Harbour City in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
HONG KONG, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong will take the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) as the best entry point to better integrate into the national development, which will bring continuous impetus to its economy, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said recently.
The Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 was adopted on March 11 at the annual session of China's top legislature.
The 14th Five-Year Plan puts forward a number of measures to promote high-quality GBA development, including strengthening exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland on different fronts, deepening and widening mutual access between the financial markets of Hong Kong and the mainland, improving policy measures to enable Hong Kong and Macao residents to develop and live in the mainland, and for the first time, incorporating the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop as a major platform of cooperation in the GBA.
"It is most encouraging that the 14th Five-Year Plan has included the support for the development of a high-quality GBA," said Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government Matthew Cheung.
In the opening year of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan period, Hong Kong will fully participate in the development of the GBA, and seize the important historical and new opportunities that cannot be missed in the further reform and opening up of the country, he added.
Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government Paul Chan believed that the GBA development is the best entry point for Hong Kong to participate in the domestic circulation of the country.
"In terms of domestic demand, Hong Kong businesses can sell their products in the mainland market and establish distribution channels for foreign products in the Chinese mainland. They can also explore the mainland market for high value-added services and professional services," he said .
Secretary for Justice, Teresa Cheng also welcomed the 14th Five-Year Plan. She said that the Department of Justice will continue to liaise and work closely with its mainland counterparts with a view to implementing more liberalisation measures and other new measures on legal services in the GBA, in order to benefit Hong Kong's legal and dispute resolution service sector.
Meanwhile, the department will work on fully utilising Hong Kong's unique advantages in legal and dispute resolution services to support and complement the country's development, said she.
New progress will come out in the area of financial mutual access in GBA. Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), said recently that three more measures to improve cross-border financial connectivity are expected to be rolled out for the GBA this year, apart from the cross-border wealth management program under preparation.
Yue said that a pilot program of remote bank account opening will be expanded from the Bank of China (BOC) to more banks and a cross-border capital pool will be set up to facilitate business capital management, in particular for tech firms in the GBA which have cross-border operations.
According to Yue, the last one will be a cross-border financial supervisory sandbox where technology and innovation projects involving cross-border business can be tested.
The GBA is a good test field for Hong Kong-mainland cross-border financial cooperation, he said, adding that the measures will be implemented immediately after the condition is mature, without a waiting period.
In fact, pursuant to the Outline Development Plan for the GBA, the HKSAR Government has been taking various initiatives over the past two years.
During the Chief Executive's visit to Guangdong Province in November 2020, key collaboration initiatives for 2021 were formulated with the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, respectively, to facilitate Hong Kong youths to study, work and start business in the mainland cities of the GBA.
The Department of Justice and the Supreme People's Court of China in November 2020 signed Supplemental Arrangement Concerning Mutual Enforcement of Arbitral Awards between the mainland and Hong Kong SAR.
It is expected that the Supplemental Arrangement will facilitate further the mutual enforcement of arbitral awards between Hong Kong and the mainland and enhance and further confirm Hong Kong's position as the preferred seat of arbitration in cross-border disputes involving assets on the mainland or involving parties with assets on the mainland. (Contributed by Zhang Huan, edited by Hu Pingchao with Xinhua Silk Road, email@example.com)