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Sci-tech zone to spur GBA

China Daily | September 6, 2023


A view of the under-construction Shenzhen Park of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

China's latest development plan for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong sci-tech zone will inject new impetus into collaboration between the two cities, which will help further spur high-quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, officials said on Tuesday.

They said the blueprint from the State Council, China's Cabinet, will offer opportunities for Shenzhen and Hong Kong to play key functional roles in the GBA, thus helping build the area into a global innovation hub as well as a key engine driving global growth.

Their remarks came after the State Council recently released a plan to promote high-quality development of Shenzhen Park of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone.

The park is set to establish an efficient Shenzhen-Hong Kong technology innovation synergistic mechanism by 2025, and generate positive results from open cooperation between the two cities in technological innovation. By 2035, a Shenzhen-Hong Kong synergistic innovation configuration will be fully formed, which will grow into a world-class science research center, according to the plan.

"The new plan will enable Shenzhen to innovate its sci-tech management mechanism, align with international innovation rules and promote international collaborative innovation," said Guo Lanfeng, a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission.

"It is also beneficial for Hong Kong to connect its advantages in technological innovation and financial openness with the comprehensive industrial chain in the Pearl River Delta region, thus advancing the establishment of Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology center," Guo said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

To fully implement the newly released development plan, Sun Zhiyang, vice-governor of Guangdong province, said the province will accelerate the formulation of a key task list as well as a list of responsibilities.

Chan Kwok-ki, chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, said Hong Kong will continue its active collaboration with Shenzhen, including the implementation of dedicated cross-boundary measures to promote the smooth flow of talent, goods and data, thus enabling the cooperation zone to serve as the bridgehead for intensive innovation and technological cooperation between the two cities.

"It will allow Hong Kong to fully leverage its unique advantages of enjoying the motherland's strong support and being connected to the world. This, in turn, can support the development of the GBA international technology and innovation center," Chan said.

Located at the border between Shenzhen's Futian district and Hong Kong, the cooperation zone covers 3.02 square kilometers in Shenzhen in an area known as Hetao, along with nearly a square kilometer in Hong Kong.

When it comes to the Hong Kong section of the cooperation zone, Chan said preliminary planning for the first phase has been completed, and the first three buildings of the first phase will be completed from the end of 2024 as planned.

Xie Laifeng, deputy director of the Department of Hong Kong, Macao &Regional Development at the China Development Institute, expects to see detailed plans to implement the newly released document, saying more efforts should be made to promote initiatives like establishing a cross-border innovation and technology fund and speeding up the planning and construction of the Hong Kong park in the cooperation zone.