Published: 10:35, January 13, 2022 | Updated: 10:38, January 13, 2022
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Connections critical cog in economic drive
By Fan Feifei

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will play an important role in driving scientific and technological innovation and attracting foreign investment, as well as inject new impetus into China's economic growth, speakers said during a seminar on "Connectivity for Shared Prosperity" at the GBA Development Forum (Guangzhou) & Vision China event.

The GBA, which already plays an important role in supporting national economic development, is looking to play an even bigger role through deeper involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative, said Yin Xiaopeng, dean of the Research Institute for Global Value Chains at the University of International Business and Economics.

Klaus Zenkel, vice-president of the European Chamber and chairman of the South China Board, said, "The GBA is one of the most business-friendly places in China, as demonstrated by the fact that Guangdong is drawing in big investments." Zenkel said that European businesses leaders are confident in their operations in Guangdong, and European businesses hope to work closely with the province on high-tech during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period.

"The GBA is one of China's most important undertakings and will not only help usher China into an innovation and technology-driven future, but will also be a catalyst in the growth and prosperity of Asia Pacific and contribute to world development," said Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.

"We would like to help American companies invest in the GBA, and use the expertise that American companies have gained in the development of other bay areas, to help the proper and sustainable growth of the GBA," he added.

Lo Chung-mau, chief executive of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, said the hospital has made significant progress in implementing cross-border healthcare initiatives in accordance with comprehensive authorized reform measures, which have greatly facilitated connectivity in the GBA.

"We will continue the exploration of cross-border medical services, enhance our research and teaching capability, and promote the integration and homogenization of healthcare in the Greater Bay Area," he said.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said that the Conghua Racecourse, which was opened three years ago by the club in Guangzhou, is an excellent example of collaboration within the GBA. "It definitely has a great deal more to contribute to the development of a world-class equine industry in the GBA," he said.

A massive domestic market and a complete industrial chain present a huge opportunity for the GBA, said Shen Minghao, dean of Great Bay Area Institute (Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao).