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Innovation a key driving force for Greater Bay Area city cluster

By ZHOU MO/CHAI HUA | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-02 07:12

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area project will "inject fresh vitality" for diversified development of the city's economy, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Saturday.

Innovation-driven development has become a trend not only for the country, but across the world, she said.

The Greater Bay Area can become a globally leading innovation and technology center, with a number of outstanding startups being created, she said at the Jointly Promote the Development of World-class City Cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area forum in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Apart from three traditional industries where Hong Kong has advantages-finance, shipping and trade-"the Greater Bay Area will inject fresh vitality for diversified development of Hong Kong's economy, especially in such aspects as innovative technologies, creative industry and legal services", Lam said.

She called for further opening-up of markets and investment in cultural and creative industries on the mainland, and increased exchanges of talents between the two sides to take full advantage of Hong Kong's strength in the area to promote production of Cantonese films and TV series.

Saturday not only marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland but also a milestone in development of the Greater Bay Area. The Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area was signed by four parties-the governments of Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao SARs as well as National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The signing was witnessed by President Xi Jinping.

Lin Nianxiu, deputy director of NDRC, said innovation is the driving force for development of the city cluster.

The Greater Bay Area will promote innovation and foster technological cooperation between Guangdong and the two SARs, and deepen cross-boundary exchanges to develop itself into a global technology and innovation center, Lin said.

Chen Guanghan, chief expert of the Institute of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Development Studies at Sun Yat-sen University, agreed the innovation-driven strategy should become the key of the Greater Bay Area's social and economic development.

In addition, he stressed that parties in the area should cooperate with each other and have clear industrial roles so they can build an innovative, integrated, open and green bay area with Chinese characteristics.

Macao SAR Chief Executive Chui Sai-on said the city will continue to give play to its advantages in linking the Chinese mainland and Portuguese-speaking countries to create opportunities for the city cluster in financial areas.

The Greater Bay Area is also viewed as playing an important role in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. Hu Chunhua, Party chief of Guangdong province, said Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao could work together to participate in the initiative by exploring a new model of jointly expanding into international markets and cooperating with each to take on global competitors.

The Bay Area comprises Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong province-Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou, Foshan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

Premier Li Keqiang officially laid out the plan to develop the Bay Area in his government work report delivered at the start of the National People's Congress session in March.

Contact the writers at sally@chinadailyhk.com

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