HENGQIN’S role in the economic integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao was explored at a forum at the Zhuhai Holiday Resort Hotel on Thursday.
The forum was sponsored by the Department of Publicity, Culture & Sports Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR and the Information Office of the provincial government and organised by the city government Information Office.
Fourteen experts and scholars took part. They included Hou Yongzhi, deputy director-general of the Department of Development Strategy & Regional Economy of the Development Research Centre of the State Council; Zhou Aiguo, deputy director-general of the Department of Publicity, Culture & Sports Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong; Sun Xiangyi, vice director-general of the Economic Affairs Department of the office; and other provincial officials.
Hou noted that Hengqin should explore a new development pattern with high-starting-point planning and develop high-end industries. The New Area should be made an example for not only Chinese, but also foreigners. Hengqin should also become an extremely energetic city with friendly and boldly innovative residents, he suggested.
Yu Yunzhou, deputy director general of Development & Reform Commission of Guangdong Province, said promotion of the regional economic integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao is of great significance. It will bring into full play each area’s advantages and pace up tri-area integrated development to shape the integral competitiveness of the greater Pearl River Delta and the most dynamic and internationally competitive metropolitan cluster.
Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao regional economic integration is irresistible, and Hengqin should boost economic, social, cultural and life connections and fusion of the three areas, he claimed.
Hengqin New Area Party chief and Administrative Committee director Niu Jing said that the series of Hong Kong and Macao-related policies and measures lately issued by the national authorities coincides with major projects under way. These, he said, will definitely provide new opportunities for further cooperation between Hengqin, Hong Kong and Macao. Moreover, construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge coincides with Hengqin development, which will contribute to formation of a world-class metropolitan cluster, he pointed out.
Hengqin will show its unique presence in closer cooperation with Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, deepen mutual industrial access with the SARs, and make full use of policies for breakthroughs in certain aspects, he declared.
Terence TL Chong, executive director of the Institute of Global Economics & Finance of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Hengqin should emphasise tourism. The Chimelong project under construction is promising. Nevertheless, apart from the narrow sense of tourism, shopping is also important, and Hengqin can take advantage of its tariff powers. Not only this, Zhuhai and Macao can jointly build an independent tourist area, which can lure visitors from Southeast Asian countries, he noted.
Hengqin must import capital and talented personnel, Terence said. He suggested that Hengqin also develop a financial market of Portuguese countries; for example, Brazil, the biggest emerging country in South America, will host the 2016 Olympics and is expected to have economic boom in near future, and thus it will have great need for trade and currency business including the RMB, he stated.
The guests visited Hengqin New Area planning and construction projects and the Shizimen Central Business District (CBD) exhibition halls prior to the forum.