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Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 12:13
James Soong begins visit to GBA
By Shadow Li
Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 12:13 By Shadow Li

Wang Zhimin (right), director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, meet with Taiwain's People First Party Chairman James Soong Chu-yu in Hong Kong on April 15, 2019. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG - Taiwan’s People First Party Chairman James Soong Chu-yu on Monday began his visit to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area — after first landing in Hong Kong.

Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, met Soong on Monday.

He told Soong the Bay Area is a huge market for Taiwan products, and it also offers a broad stage for Taiwan industries and talents to achieve their full potential.

READ MORE: Mayor from Taiwan lines up business in HK, Macao

The trip is an opportunity for Soong to learn more about the development of the Bay Area. It is also an opportunity to discover potential business opportunities for Taiwan in the Bay Area, explained the veteran politician.

Soong said that since 1980s at least one third of Taiwan businessmen doing business on the mainland had gone to the Bay Area. His trip to the Bay Area is also to learn more about their difficulties and how they can better cope with today’s tough challenges affecting international trade.

Soong last visited the Chinese mainland in 2014. He is scheduled to meet business groups from Taiwan during his trip.

Hong Kong and Taiwan have been close partners in business and trade for a long time. In 2018, Hong Kong was Taiwan’s fourth-largest trading partner and second-biggest export market; Taiwan was Hong Kong’s third-largest trading partner, according to the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Culture Office in Taipei.

Calling his trip “a study tour”, Soong said his top priority is learning more about things which can benefit Taiwan’s economy. Song is also anxious to explore new opportunities while outlining a vision for young Taiwan residents.

He said Taiwan would inevitably be influenced by the rapid development of Bay Area.

The Bay Area, with its enormous population and huge market, has surpassed established bay areas in Tokyo, New York and San Francisco in terms of population and economic growth. The development of the Bay Area will have a major economic impact not just on the South China area — but the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Soong will leave for Macao on April 16.

After that, he is expected to visit other cities inside the 11-city cluster. They include Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Foshan, Guangzhou and Dongguan.

The Bay Area, covering 56,000 square kilometers and a population of 70 million, seized the spotlight after the central government released a blueprint for its development in mid-February.

ALSO READ: HK’s strategic position in Greater Bay Area blueprint

The Bay Area aims to become the world’s leading innovation and technology center. It also has ambitions to provide a quality living environment for its residents.

Soong’s delegation includes business leaders and experts in finance, medicine and hydraulic engineering.

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