Deputies, members from China’s Greater Bay Area inspired by great vision at two sessions
Published: Mar 07, 2023 07:23 PM
Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Delegates from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao said they were inspired by the remarks made by Premier Li Keqiang regarding the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in his Government Work Report delivered to the National People's Congress (NPC), vowing to make the region even more integrated. 

"We promoted the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and supported Hong Kong and Macao in developing their economies, improving living standards, responding to Covid-19, and maintaining stability," Premier Li said on Sunday.

"Only by seizing the opportunities linked to the development of the Greater Bay Area can the advantages be leveraged at a national level," said Pansy Ho Chiu-king, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from HKSAR said on Tuesday. 

The population of the Greater Bay Area has exceeded 86 million as of 2022, and its economic aggregate has reached 12.6 trillion yuan ($1.82 billion) in 2021, according to official data. 

"What I see is a huge market, abundant human resources and unlimited development potential. Hong Kong has just entered a new stage, and we must focus on development, and the Greater Bay Area will become a big stage for Hong Kong's development," Ho said. 

"I encourage young people in Macao to visit the Chinese mainland, and to witness the development and the great changes of our country," said Ma Chi Ngai Frederico, a member of the CPPCC from Macao, on Tuesday. 

The GBA has just welcomed the fourth anniversary of the release of a sweeping development plan for the region on February 18 of 2023, and the plan covers nine cities in South China's Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong and Macao SARs. 

After four years of rapid development, the GBA is set to further become a hotspot for investment and usher in a golden period of development, as COVID-related restrictions have been lifted and travel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao have fully resumed.

Hon SHIU Ka-fai, a member of CPPCC, proposed plans for a pilot project within the GBA to increase the duty-free quota for Chinese mainland tourists for each crossing from current 5,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan when purchasing goods in Hong Kong. 

An increase in the duty-free quota will also create a better consumption atmosphere, and also help the recovery of Hong Kong's retail industry, he told the Global Times on Tuesday, who is also the member of the Legislative Council of HKSAR. 

Reading from the proposals put forth by delegates addressing how to further leverage talent to serve the region remains a priority topic, with officials citing talent as "the key to self-reliance and self-improvement with high-level technology."

Johnny Ng, another CPPCC member from Hong Kong, said in a proposal shared with the Global Times said there had been discussions over building a talent innovation and entrepreneurship base, and expanding the "talent map" to attract more talent from the Chinese mainland to work in Hong Kong and Macao. 

Further exploration of the reform of the talent development system in Greater Bay Area will help achieve breakthroughs in key technologies, so as to achieve high-level technological self-reliance and self-improvement, Ng said. 

Hon SHIU Ka-fai also suggests accelerating the talent interaction in the Greater Bay Area, and he said that after the epidemic, many industries in Hong Kong are facing a serious shortage of manpower. 

Greater access to talent across the Greater bay to solve the labor shortage in Hong Kong is needed, for Hong Kong faces severe manpower shortage in many industries after the epidemic, he said.