One-third of an expanded Qianhai cooperation zone will be reserved for Hong Kong enterprises, says Shenzhen mayor Qin Weizhong.
The State Council announced earlier this week that the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone will be expanded eightfold – from its original 14.9-square-kilometer area to 120.5 sq km.
Qin was speaking at the State Council Information Office news conference in Beijing yesterday, joining officials from the capital, Hong Kong and Macau on the development and construction of Qianhai and Hengqin.
Qin said investor-protection regulations in the Qianhai zone will be formulated soon and he hopes to establish an international legal service and commercial dispute resolution center with Hong Kong.
The Hengqin zone is aimed at pushing closer mainland and Macau economic ties.
The expansion of the Qianhai zone “can satisfy Hong Kong modern service industries’ demand to enter the mainland market via Qianhai,” said Cong Liang, deputy director of the Office of the Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
“After the expansion, the land available for industrial development will increase substantially in Qianhai. It will better leverage Hong Kong’s advantages, strengthen the cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, provide strong support for Hong Kong’s economic development and push the further integration of Hong Kong into the national development,” he said.
Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu, who attended the press conference through video link, said the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is “set to scale new heights.”
Lee added: “Hong Kong’s business and professional sectors are well prepared for the new opportunities for Hong Kong people and enterprises arising from the Qianhai plan.”
He said the SAR government will continue to strengthen collaboration with the Guangdong and Shenzhen governments on the development of Qianhai.
Speaking on youth development, Lee said the Qianhai area provides “premium development opportunities” for Hong Kong’s youth.
“The government will continue to enhance various youth programs to facilitate their integration into the overall development of our country,” he added.
Lee noted that about 11,500 Hong Kong-invested enterprises have currently registered in Qianhai, most of which were in modern service industries, including finance, logistics, information, technology and professional services.
Lin Keqing, executive vice governor of Guangdong, said his province has already built an entrepreneurial platform for youths from Hong Kong and Macau, citing that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong youth innovation hub in Qianhai can provide a one-stop service for start-ups.
Guangdong will fully utilize the policies such as recruiting Hong Kong youths in mainland institutions and treating Hong Kong residents as local residents in terms of employment and starting businesses, he said. Separately, legislator Lau Kwok-fan of the DAB suggested on a radio program that a railway should be built to connect Hung Shui Kiu in Yuen Long and Qianhai in Shenzhen, as there will be more job opportunities for Hongkongers after the zone expansion.
He called on the government to accelerate the New Territories North development to attract mainland enterprises to set up their headquarters in Hung Shui Kiu.
“It’s only one stop between Hung Shui Kiu and Qianhai if there’s a railway built,” Lau said.