Tag Archives: Cooperation

Guangzhou-Hong Kong tech park under way

While Hong Kong gears up for another day, another protest, the provincial capital is building a tech park to cement ties between the two cities. Yesterday saw the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Science and Technology Cooperation Park launch 13 major projects, unveil five innovative platforms, and sign 18 industrial projects.

How much is all this worth, you may ask? Try RMB152.3 billion.  

The park is being jointly developed by Guangzhou’s Huangpu district government, the Guangzhou Hi-Tech Park, and the Hong Kong government. Located in the Guangzhou Development Zone, the park covers an area of 14.5 sqkm. The 13 major projects include strategic emerging industries such as hydrogen energy, AI, and smart wearables, with many funded by Hong Kong companies or joint ventures between Hong Kong and Guangzhou enterprises. 

One of the key projects is the Beijing-Guangzhou Collaborative Innovation Center. It is the first collaboration between two national-level development zones, which formed a strategic cooperation relationship in July. The project aims to promote technology and industry partnerships among the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.

GBA to establish ‘financial dispute mediation cooperation mechanism’

On Thursday, Zhuhai’s Hengqin hosted the GBA Financial Dispute Mediation Cooperation Forum. In attendance were representatives from regulatory authorities and financial dispute mediation centers from Hong Kong, Macau and GuangdongThe parties have also signed a cooperation framework on cross-border financial dispute mediation.  

Is this the beginning of long-awaited “integration” across the GBA’s three jurisdictions in the area of law enforcement? It might be a long way off, but this does appear to be some kind of tentative start. 

Earlier this month, Guangdong released a directive in which it highlighted the importance to push forward financial interconnectivity among the three regions in order to “build an international financial hub”.  

“Because the Greater Bay Area is built on one country, two systems and three jurisdictions, it has great differences in legal framework and economic systems,” said Bai Hexiang, president of the People’s Bank of ChinaGuangzhou Branch. “To solve financial disputes in the three regions through traditional litigation will face the challenges of judicial differences, which will become a time-consuming and costly process. 

It is of great significance to establish a financial dispute mediation cooperation mechanism between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, Bai said. He suggested to learn from the more mature financial dispute resolution system that Hong Kong, Macau and other developed economies have adopted and to establish a jointly recognized cooperation mechanism among the regions to protect the rights and interests of the consumers and enhance the quality of financial servicein the Greater Bay Area.  

The World Trade Center Macau Arbitration Center, the Guangzhou Financial Consumption Dispute Resolution Center, The Shenzhen Consumer Rights Protection and representatives from the financial dispute centers in Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing signed the framework agreement. The cooperation will involve the establishment of a liaison mechanism, a financial dispute mediation cooperation mechanism and a joint research mechanism. 

UK university to boost biotech, healthcare in Shunde

Foshan’s Shunde district has signed a contract with the University of Bradford from the UK to establish a biotech and healthcare innovation center at Shunde’s Sanlongwan hi-tech zone. 

The China-UK iBridge project aims to develop technologies to tackle neuro diseases for the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Shunde currently has more than 600 biotech and medical equipment companies.

Read more in Chinese. 

Shenzhen has new support for tech research

The Shenzhen government released 22 measures for the management of science and technology projects. They include granting more autonomy to higher education institutions, establishing a competitive mechanism for scientific research and deepening communication with Hong Kong and Macau. 

For universities and research institutes, the government plans to increase more stable funding projects and grant them more autonomy in research. A dynamic competitive mechanism will be established by changing one-off funding to phased funding, which allows the government to evaluate research projects throughout the process. The government is also setting up a basic research fund and allocating at least 30% of its overall municipal technology fund to basic research and application research. The fund will be put to use in cross-border projects as well. 

Read more in Chinese. 

Guangdong speeds up GBA plan

Amid reports that a senior Politburo official is running a Hong Kong crisis taskforce in Shenzhen, the release today of an accelerated plan for GBA integration by the provincial government should come as no surprise. The standard response to any crisis of government legitimacy in China – since at least 1976 – is to throw out a bunch of carrots while wielding a big stick. Guangdong’s announcement today that it is accelerating the GBA’s integration looks to be trained on one priority: creating new growth opportunities for Hong Kong people and businesses. (The stick is still sitting patiently in its Tamar barracks.)

This being China, the newly updated plan looks largely indistinguishable from the old. But read between the lines, and it’s the intention that matters. The “three-year action plan” for the development of the Greater Bay Area includes 100 measures and nine key tasks. Its end-goal is actually next year, i.e. it started in 2017, before the GBA masterplan was even unveiled. Still, it makes for interesting reading in how it seems to be prioritizing and pushing harder on rolling out the welcome mat for international talent and investment. 

All language is couched in the correct terminology, of course. In talking about the construction of an international science and technology innovation hub, the plan proposes 14 specific measures including the establishment of a comprehensive national science center, joint laboratories with Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, and the construction of a “science and technology innovation corridor” that connects Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Where a greater sense of urgency comes through is in sections related to the accelerated flow of capital and “talents”. Guangdong will: 1) Introduce specific policies and measures to support Hong Kong and Macau institutions of higher learning and scientific research institutions to participate in the province-funded science and technology plans; 2) Establish a basic research fund open to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao enterprises; 3) Open provincial research facilities to participants from Hong Kong and Macau; 4) Establish trial zones for foreign “innovative talents” to enjoy the same treatment as Chinese nationals in building scientific and technological enterprises; 5) Obtain national approval for the usage of medical data and blood samples required for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau scientific cross-border research cooperation projects in selected universities, research institutions and laboratories.

By 2020, i.e., six months from now, the GBA will have 200 R&D institutions, with the region’s total R&D budget accounting for 2.8% of the GDP. There will be 2.6 patents per 10,000.

The provincial government has also proposed 10 measures to facilitate innovation, including nurturing strategic emerging industries, building advanced manufacturing industry clusters, and building an international financial hub together with Hong Kong and Macao. By 2020, 60% of the region’s economy will be in services. 

The plan also set specific targets and measures for livelihood issues including infrastructure, environmental protection, education and medical care.

Among them, there are a total of 22 measures focusing on building a quality living and business circle. For example: 1) Support Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and other Hong Kong and Macao universities to open new campuses in Guangdong; 2) Establish a GBA university; 3) Take the lead in implementing a better talent retention policy; 4) Trial a new employment-based migration policy in the region; 5) Develop tax incentives for overseas (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) talents; 6) Build Hong Kong and Macau youth innovation and entrepreneurship bases; 7) Relax restrictions on the use of Hong Kong and Macau drug and medical devices.

Transport upgrades are a key component of the plan. By 2020, annual passenger throughput of airports in the GBA will reach 140 million, while the annual container throughput in ports will reach 62 million TEU. By 2020, the area will have 2,400 kilometers of rail transit and 5,000 kilometers of expressway mileage.

The environment is giving a top priority, too. By 2020: 1) Black and odorous water bodies in the urban areas of the GBA will be eliminated; 2) Prefecture-level cities (the big nine) will reach 90% of days with good air quality, and the annual average of PM2.5 concentrations will not be more than 34 micrograms per cubic meter; 3) Sewage treatment rate will be 95%; 4) Forest coverage will be 52%.

Foreign investors are clearly going to be given a high priority. The plan says Guangdong will focus on accelerating a “new kind of opening up and cooperation.” This will involve: 1) 

Deepening reform of the business environment by building the Guangdong Free Trade Zone with “high standards”; 2) Fully liberalizing (i.e., equalizing) the business landscape for Hong Kong and Macau individuals; 3) Promoting the expansion of mutual recognition of professional qualifications; and 4) Actively participating in international economic cooperation and other initiatives. More specifically: By 2020, the time needed for filing foreign investment outside the negative list will be reduced to less than one working day, and the time needed for starting a business will be controlled within four working days.

The three star zones get renewed attention: Shenzhen’s Qianhai, Guangzhou’s Nansha and Zhuhai’s Hengqin.

Read more.

Macau puts RMB8b into Guangdong Fund

Macau has invested RMB8 billion into the new Guangdong-Macau Cooperation and Development Fund to support the development of eight projects, five of which are construction of infrastructure in the Greater Bay Area, including motorways, transportation hubs, and science parks. 

According to the chairman of Macau’s legislative committee overseeing the investment, Mak Soi Kun, the government plans to invest RMB20 billion this year. 

Macau will receive a 3.5% guaranteed financial return each year, with a bonus mechanism: If the financial return exceeds 7.8%, then Macau and Guangdong will share the additional profit 55:45. According to last year’s report, the fund achieved last year a consolidated income of RMB69.38 million, and the pre-tax profits for Macau stood at RMB45.45 million. The fund is expected to rake in more revenue this year with the profits from January till May this year amounting to RMB51.35 million already. 

The Guangdong-Macau Cooperation and Development Fund was established in June last year, and the Macau government is expected to receive the first disbursement in 6 years and the second in 11 years. 

Read more in Chinese. 

More HK, Macau university places for mainland students

Fifteen tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and six in Macau are eligible to enroll Guangdong high school graduates who sit this year’s college entrance examination, known as gaokao, according to the Education Examinations Authority of Guangdong.

The 21 institutions include publicly funded universities such as the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Macau, and private ones like the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong and Tung Wah College.

The development of the GBA isalso bringing more Hong Kong high school graduates to mainland universities: 10,433 this year, up 9%, marking an eight-year high, according to China Education Exchange Center (HK).

Read more.

SZ, HK push forward cross-boundary park

A major policymaking conference wrapped up in Shenzhen yesterday at which leaders from Hong Kong and Shenzhen declared their intention to “enhance cooperation in science and innovation” by using their “joint resources in the Greater Bay Area.”

A news conference held by Shenzhen Mayor Chen Rugui and Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung also gave further details about the ambitious Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Science Park, a project jointly developed by the two cities in the Lok Ma Chau Loop area. The project will focus on boosting joint capabilities in research and development, intellectual property, trade, financing and law.

“The development of the Loop area is in the overall planning and preparatory period, and the city government is applying to the central government to pilot new financial and tax incentives that could benefit Hong Kong and expatriate employees working in the area,” said Chen.

According to Chen, Shenzhen has initiated infrastructure planning for the Loop area. The plan includes reconstruction of Huanggang into a “super checkpoint” with six times the present capacity.

Shenzhen/Shanwei zone gears up

A special zone being built between Shenzhen and Shanwei, about 60 km to the east of Shenzhen, is about to see new land requisition policies issued that will speed up development.

The 468 sq km zone, inaugurated last December, will be built over the next 15 years. It will eventually be home to around 1.5 million people focused in a variety of high-tech industries. The zone’s management committee said 30 sq km of land will initially be acquired and earmarked for development of companies involved in AI, next-generation IT products, and biomedicine.

By mid-year, the zone is expected to have its “Robot Town” taking shape, housing robotics companies. It will also launch a “Fashion Brand Industrial Park” at that time. A comprehensive high school, the Shenshan School of Nanshan Foreign Language School, has just opened, while the Shenshan campuses of Shenzhen Baihe Foreign Language School and Shenzhen Polytechnic are making headway.

San Francisco Bay Area eyes GBA

Guangzhou

The Bay Area Council (BAC) in San Francisco is mulling opening a new office in China’s Greater Bay Area, according to its president and CEO Jim Wunderman.

The BAC has already established four offices in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. It has also partnered with China’s Tsinghua University, reports China Daily Hong Kong.

The council is scheduled to lead several delegations to visit China in 2019, said Wunderman. The BAC is a non-profit organization that promotes economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area and coordinates regional efforts in addressing pressing issues faced by the region.