GBA development in focus at two sessions
Published: Mar 07, 2022 09:10 PM
Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in South China's Guangdong Province Photo: VCG

Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in South China's Guangdong Province Photo: VCG

How to better participate in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and fight COVID-19 have become important topics among deputies and political advisors from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs) attending the two sessions in Beijing.

Many Hong Kong and Macao-based deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee submitted a series of suggestions or proposals on further promoting cooperation within the GBA and injecting new vitality into its development.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) has put forward more than 20 suggestions and proposals, more than half of which are related to the GBA, said Chan Yung, vice-chairperson of the DAB, who is also an NPC deputy.

"How to further improve the convenience for Hong Kong SAR people to work and live in the GBA have been covered by these suggestions and proposals," Chan said.

Kennedy Wong, a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR and a CPPCC National Committee member, has called for taking advantage of the GBA to encourage youth in the Hong Kong and Macao SARs to participate in and develop cross-border e-commerce platforms.

If young people have more opportunities to tap into the GBA market to do online and cross-border e-commerce businesses, it can not only contribute to the construction of the GBA, but also let the youth know more about the latest developments in the Chinese mainland and be integrated into the national development, said Wong's proposal, which was shared with the Global Times. 

Si Ka-Lon, a Macao-based NPC deputy, told the Global Times that his motions mainly covered the country's latest arrangements in promoting the development of the GBA.

"It is hoped that detailed regulations for the Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin can be rolled out, so as to lay a legal foundation and institutional framework for the development of the area and turn policy dividends into driving forces for development," Si said.

Si has proposed to further relax mainland-Macao entry permits and group travelers to boost the recovery of tourism in Macao, which is a pillar of its economy.

Last year, the central government announced plans to deepen the opening-up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone and build a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin, South China's Guangdong Province, which attracted great attention from the Hong Kong and Macao communities.

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, has announced to further step up financial support for the development of the GBA, promote high-quality financial development in Hengqin, Qianhai and other key regions, and support the GBA in playing a bigger role in the country's economic development and opening-up, according to an official post on Monday.

Amid the severe outbreak of the COVID-19 in the Hong Kong SAR, many NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members have also put forward motions and proposals for anti-epidemic efforts, including supporting cross-border ambulances, setting up buffer zones for the delivery of vegetables and food at Hong Kong-Shenzhen ports, and stepping up support of medical supplies, facilities and personnel.

The central government has already arranged support in various areas, including sending medical teams and ensuring stable supplies of daily necessities, for Hong Kong to fight the outbreak.

Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, vice president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and a CPPCC National Committee member, thanked the central government and mainland medical personnel, staff and experts at the front line of the Hong Kong SAR's current battle against COVID-19

"The mainland and Hong Kong SAR people are family. Blood is thicker than water. As long as we stand united, there is no difficulty we cannot overcome," Fok said on Monday.