Cooperation on Shenzhen-Hong Kong project will enhance intl connections
The State Council's plan to build a Shenzhen-Hong Kong science and technology zone will bring together the two areas' respective strengths, promote innovation and research, expand market opportunities and enhance international connections with policy support, experts said.
"The plan will bring benefits to Hong Kong as it turns toward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and it will expand its market," said Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development.
It is important not only to consider what Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation will bring, but also to look at the transformation of Hong Kong, the leveraging of Shenzhen's technological advantages, and the strategic role the zone will play within the RCEP, Chi added.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, released a plan on Tuesday to boost the high-quality development of the Chinese mainland part of the sci-tech innovation cooperation zone, which will be jointly developed by the technology hub of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
According to the plan, the Shenzhen section of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone will seek coordinated development with the section in Hong Kong. The two will complement each other with their respective strengths, making the cooperation zone a key engine for the high-quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Located at the border between Shenzhen's Futian district and Hong Kong, the cooperation zone covers 3.02 square kilometers in Shenzhen in an area known as Hetao, and nearly nine-tenths of a square kilometer in Hong Kong. It is regarded as an attractive and suitable place due to its strategic location, established infrastructure, business-friendly environment and innovation ecosystem.
The State Council's plan outlined four key tasks for the zone: working with Hong Kong to promote international scientific and technological innovation and to build a world-class scientific and technological platform; establishing industrial pilot bases to advance the new generation of information technology and biomedicine; creating an international mechanism for scientific and technological innovation to facilitate cross-border flows of personnel, capital and data; and constructing a global platform for science and technology cooperation and for strengthening international exchanges and talent training.
John Lee Ka-chiu, chief executive of Hong Kong, expressed gratitude for the central government's strong support.
"We will strive to implement measures that facilitate cross-boundary flow of various innovation elements. This will enable the cooperation zone to serve as the bridgehead for intensive innovation and technology cooperation between the two places, allowing Hong Kong to fully utilize its unique advantage of 'enjoying strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world'," Lee said.
Zheng Hongbo, Party secretary of Shenzhen's Futian district, told China Daily that the cooperation zone is well-suited for exploring and using advanced international regulations to serve both the "one country, two systems" principle and construction of the Greater Bay Area.
"Futian has already established various innovation and entrepreneurship bases to support young talent from Hong Kong and Macao to integrate into the national development agenda," Zheng said.
Gao Lingyun, executive director of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Joint Innovation Institute at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the release of the plan is extremely inspiring for the university.
"As the first Hong Kong university to a presence in the Hetao area, we have been advancing through exploration over the past three years. Now, the release of the plan confirms our past efforts and provides us with a more comprehensive, systematic and focused road map," Gao said.
Chai Hua in Hong Kong and Chen Keqi in Shenzhen contributed to this story.