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HK delegates eye closer integration

By XI TIANQI in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-16 09:23
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A view of the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. [Photo/IC]

Hong Kong delegates to the nation's forthcoming two sessions are actively seeking ways to further release the city's potential in national blueprints and enable the city's younger generation to shine on the broader stage of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing focus on China's major socioeconomic achievements over the past year and next-stage development blueprints. The 14th CPPCC National Committee session will get underway on March 4 and the 14th NPC session will begin on March 5.

Hong Kong business leader Andrew Yao Cho-fai was re-elected as an NPC deputy this year.

Yao, who used to serve as the chairman of the Hong Kong United Youth Association, said he will bring some concrete motions to Beijing on how to help Hong Kong youngsters utilize opportunities in national development.

With normal cross-border travel fully resumed, Yao said he is restarting his summer exchange program for Hong Kong students to do internships in mainland companies and organizations. The program had been running for 15 years but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent trip to Shanghai, Yao saw how popular new energy vehicles are in the city and that the locals showed strong interest in new brands. He hopes to bring some new energy vehicles designed by domestic brands to Hong Kong and help young people better understand the mainland's rapid development in unmanned driving and new energy technology. He reckoned it as the best way to cultivate young people's national pride.

In his view, the government has already done a lot in helping Hong Kong youngsters to integrate into the Greater Bay Area and many activities launched by the government have become more professional and well-organized. He suggested more Hong Kong organizations engage in the activities and encouraged young people themselves to embrace the opportunities to the north.

CPPCC National Committee member and Hong Kong lawmaker Johnny Ng Kit-chong told a news conference on Tuesday that he will submit various proposals on livelihood issues, industry development and economic revival, for Hong Kong to further leverage the special administrative region's unique advantages in national blueprints.

With mature supervision and favorable policies in digital finance, Hong Kong can offer great facilitation to the Greater Bay Area's development on metaverse and other "Web 3.0" technologies, Ng said.

Given its latest developments in innovation and technology, the city has a role to play in the mainland's vitalization of rural areas and promoting traditional Chinese medicine to the world, he added.

In the post-pandemic era, he also suggested Hong Kong brands attach greater importance to the vast mainland market, which may bring greater rewards and also serve mainland people's diversified needs.

The Hong Kong government can strengthen collaboration with the mainland to channel more support for the development of local youths, and attract more overseas talent to the country, Ng said.

CPPCC National Committee member So Cheung-wing said his proposal focuses on economic development, adding that Hong Kong should further deepen links with other cities in the Greater Bay Area to accelerate integration.

He continued that the Hong Kong government should better leverage the city's strength as a leading offshore renminbi trading center and launch more preferential policies to further enhance its status as an international financial hub.

Lawmaker Peter Koon Ho-ming, who was elected a CPPCC National Committee member for the first time, cares more about social welfare policies.

He believes some policies and conditions on the mainland regarding the elderly are superior to those in Hong Kong, and plans to put forward proposals on encouraging and facilitating more Hong Kong residents to enjoy post-retirement lives in mainland cities.

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