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Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 12:03
CE: SAR to connect Japan with Bay Area development
By Oswald Chan
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 12:03 By Oswald Chan

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (center), Governor of Guangdong province Ma Xingrui (center left) and other officials attend the symposium on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area jointly organized by the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in Tokyo on April 9, 2019. (INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong is ready to help connect Japan with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area because of the special administrative region’s strong ties with Tokyo, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told a symposium on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in Japan.

Lam urged Japanese companies to exploit their relationships with Hong Kong to take advantage of the business opportunities in the Bay Area

The symposium on Tuesday was jointly organized by the governments of Guangdong province and the SAR governments of Hong Kong and Macao. Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui and Macao Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi-fan also attended the event.

READ MORE: Greater Bay Area a center of innovation

This was the first joint overseas promotion of the Bay Area after the release of the outline development plan for the Bay Area by the central government in February. It was attended by leading government officials from all three places. Hong Kong and Japanese business chambers also participated with over 1,000 executives and leaders from various sectors at the event.

Lam said the Bay Area was a new engine to propel close ties between Hong Kong and Japan. She urged Japanese companies to exploit their relationships with Hong Kong to take advantage of the business opportunities in the Bay Area.

She said that Hong Kong would contribute to the Bay Area development by leveraging its multiple roles as an international financial, logistics and trading center. It would also exploit its position as a global innovation and technology hub and center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The city has a global business network with 13 economic and trade offices around the world and over 8,700 overseas and mainland companies currently doing business in Hong Kong. Four of the city's universities are among the world's top 100, and many have a strong research capability,” Lam said.

Stan Tang, chairman of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Economic and Trade Association, welcomed Japanese participation in the Bay Area blueprint.

“Japanese enterprises can share their experiences in dealing with the issue of a growing aging population with peer mainland and Hong Kong companies. In addition, the technology development and corporate culture in Japan will also provide a boost to the development of the Bay Area,” Tang said.

In February, the central government promulgated the outline development plan for the Bay Area to promote coordinated regional economic development, building the 11 cities to become a world-class city cluster area for working, living and traveling by building infrastructure connectivity, a global innovation and technology hub and modern industrial system through facilitating the free flow of people, capital, goods, information within the Bay Area. 

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The Bay Area covers nine cities in Guangdong province - Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing - as well as the two SARs of Hong Kong and Macao. 

With an area of 56,000 square kilometers, the Bay Area is endowed with most intensive cluster of airports and ports in the world. It is an enormous market with a population of 71 million and a gross domestic product of $1.6 trillion at the end of 2018, equivalent to 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

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