Hong Kong firms seek to further expand into mainland as GBA in focus at two sessions
Published: Mar 08, 2022 09:26 PM
A view of Hong Kong. Photo: VCG

A view of Hong Kong. Photo: VCG

Businesses from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) are eyeing opportunities to further expand into the mainland market, according to a business leader in the city, as the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) has become a hot topic at the ongoing two sessions in Beijing.

"The market in the Chinese mainland is currently the most suitable market for enterprises from Hong Kong to develop," Michael Li Chi-fung, vice honorary secretary of the Hong Kong Chinese Importers' & Exporters' Association, told the Global Times in an interview. 

As a business owner himself, Li has been watching to see if more support policies for Hong Kong enterprises are rolled out during the ongoing two sessions, which may offer more potential for Hong Kong's local brands to better integrate into the market in the mainland, especially with the fast development of the GBA. 

Many Hong Kong and Macao-based deputies of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top political advisory body, have submitted suggestions or proposals on further promoting cooperation within the GBA and injecting new vitality into its development.

Li stressed that the mainland market, with its robust economic development, offers more opportunities for Hong Kong enterprises, at a time when multiple countries and regions across the globe are still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As Hong Kong is battling against a new wave of COVID-19, enterprises across different sectors from the mainland have been providing support in various ways to Hong Kong to fight the outbreak. 

For instance, Ping'an donated 10 million yuan ($1.58 million) worth of testing reagents and protective materials to Hong Kong, which are expected to arrive before March 15. The group has donated more than 180 million yuan in cash and supplies to Hong Kong so far, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday. 

According to Li, medical teams from the Chinese mainland have solved two bottleneck issues for Hong Kong - increasing the number of people conducting nucleic acid tests simultaneously and constructing makeshift hospitals to accommodate more COVID-19 patients to help thwart the Omicron outbreak.

Li expected that the economic development of Hong Kong may slow as a direct result of the pandemic, but the overall performance will be able to catch up and may even rebound significantly in the second half of 2022. 

In February, Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary of the HKSAR, said that Hong Kong's economy is expected to grow 2-3.5 percent in 2022, with a better performance in the second half of this year, adding that the local economy performed badly in the first quarter and perhaps even contracted. But the outbreak can be put under control in two to three months, he said.