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Cooperation zone off to a good start in Hengqin

Updated: Sep 18, 2021 By CHEN SHUMAN China Daily Print
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The new Hengqin Port between Macao and Zhuhai. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The newly established Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone got off to a good start on Friday, with the unveiling of its administrative agencies and the start of its operations.

The zone, which is located on Hengqin island of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, is administered by a management committee co-led by Governor of Guangdong province Ma Xingrui and Macao's Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng, according to an inauguration ceremony of the agencies.

The committee will be responsible for making overall decisions on major plans, policies, projects and important personnel appointments.

Under the body is an executive committee that takes charge of specific economic and livelihood issues in the zone. It is chaired by Lei Wai-nong, Macao's secretary for economy and finance.

The executive committee includes nine bureaus covering a wide range of affairs, such as legal affairs, economic development, financial development, commercial services, statistics, urban planning, construction and livelihood affairs.

On the first day of operation, the administrative bodies launched a series of measures benefiting enterprises and residents in the zone.

Starting from Friday, Macao vehicle owners who want to drive into Hengqin can complete the license application process in Macao. Several construction projects, including a Macao-invested commercial zone, were granted permission.

Some enterprises got the zone's first batch of business licenses, and a group of Hong Kong and Macao physicians was granted short-term practice certificates to work in the zone.

Officiating at the inauguration, Vice-Premier Han Zheng expected that after the ceremony, the development of the zone will be further accelerated. He hoped that the new zone will well leverage the advantages of Guangdong and Macao to inject new momentum into Macao's long-term development.

Also attending the ceremony, Ma and Ho said Guangdong and Macao will join hands to implement the zone's overall plan that was devised by the central government.

They vowed to give full support to develop new industries in the region for Macao's economic diversification, turn the zone into a new area for Macao residents to live and work in, and strengthen the integrated development of Hengqin and Macao.

Established on Sept 5, the cooperation zone, which has an area of 106 square kilometers, aims to facilitate the economic diversification of Macao through deeper cooperation with Guangdong.

According to the zone's overall plan, it has the aim of fully demonstrating the strong vitality and strength of "one country, two systems" by 2035, when the goal of Macao's economic diversification will be basically realized.

The Hengqin area has seen an increase in its GDP from 285 million yuan ($44.15 million) in 2009 to about 40.7 billion yuan in 2020. It has more than 55,000 registered commercial entities, including 4,500 Macao-funded ones.

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