Over the past five years, there have been new breakthroughs in some core technologies on the Chinese mainland, and its spending on research and development has increased from 2.1 percent to over 2.5 percent of GDP.
President Xi Jinping emphasized the need for sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening in his discussions with representatives and delegates on three separate occasions during the recent two sessions in Beijing.
Some countries have launched a “technological war” against China, increasingly stepping up their blockade of Chinese high-tech companies to curb China’s economic development. Against this background, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area can play a crucial role in helping the country achieve sci-tech self-reliance and make breakthroughs in bottleneck situations.
President Xi also emphasized the need to strengthen the competitiveness of enterprises, and promote the deep integration of innovation chains, industry chains, capital chains and talent chains. In this regard, we can integrate Shenzhen’s high-tech, Guangzhou’s trading hub, the Pearl River Delta’s manufacturing industry, and Hong Kong’s technology research and development and financial services industry.
Hong Kong’s “grab talents, grab enterprises” initiative and the mainland’s policies to incentivize Hong Kong and Macao residents to work in the mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area are expected to greatly boost the talent pool in the whole Greater Bay Area, which is expected to become a new economic powerhouse as well as a global manufacturing and technological innovation hub.
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Hong Kong’s free flow of funds and information enables continuous support for innovative and technology-based startups, helping to solve the financing difficulties faced by small and medium-sized enterprises.
Hong Kong has established extensive networks and accumulated a wealth of practical experience with many countries and regions, which puts the city in a good position to help promote deep-level international scientific research cooperation
Hong Kong not only has the Innovation and Technology Fund coordinated by the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau, which provides funding for key research and development projects, but also a special Guangdong-Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme (TCFS) to promote cooperation between Guangdong’s and Hong Kong’s research institutions and enterprises.
In addition, startups often have light assets and intellectual properties but may struggle to secure financing in their early stages of business development. Hong Kong has a large number of professional service providers who can offer due diligence, valuation, brokerage, securitization and other services for intellectual property.
This allows startups to use their intellectual properties as collateral to obtain bank loans or to introduce equity investment based on their intellectual property valuation.
China’s innovation and technological development is not cut off from the rest of the world despite the relentless blockade of some Western countries. Rather, China will continue to deepen and broaden international cooperation and exchanges in science and technology.
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Hong Kong has established extensive networks and accumulated a wealth of practical experience with many countries and regions, which puts the city in a good position to help promote deep-level international scientific research cooperation.
If Hong Kong effectively implements its “grab talents, grab enterprises” initiative with supporting measures in areas such as housing, land rent, and transportation, coupled with its traditional advantages such as a favorable international business environment, low tax rates, zero tariffs and excellent professional services, it is believed that more innovative and technological enterprises will be attracted to set up in the city.
With enterprises leading the integration of industry, academia and research, the level of technological achievement transformation and industrialization can be improved.
This is not only serving the Greater Bay Area and the country, Hong Kong is also building a new economic growth engine. Innovation and technology can bring new industries to Hong Kong and drive the upgrading and transformation of its traditional industries, promote diversified economic development, and greatly enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness and economic vitality.
Hong Kong continues to attract investment from mainland
Over the past five years, the reform and opening-up of China have continued to unleash greater market vitality and social creativity, and create a more market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment
Over the past five years, the reform and opening-up of China have continued to unleash greater market vitality and social creativity, and create a more market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment.
The government is committed to deepening mutually beneficial international economic and trade cooperation, and the government work report delivered at the opening meeting of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress emphasizes, in its future work priorities section, that it will attract foreign investment and launch landmark foreign-funded projects.
The role of exports in supporting the economy will continue. Services for foreign-invested enterprises will be improved, and landmark foreign investment projects will be promoted. This indicates that a larger scope, wider range, and deeper level of opening-up will be implemented, as well as better participation in international economic cooperation.
It conveys a firm signal that China will continue to expand its opening-up and promote the construction of an open world economy, allowing more foreign companies from various industries to set up businesses in China, and share the dividends of China’s development.
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During his speech at the China International Import Expo last year, President Xi stated that China will invite all countries and parties to share in the opportunities the Chinese market offers, accelerate the construction of a strong domestic market, promote the optimization and upgrading of the goods trade, expand the import of high-quality products, create a Silk Road e-commerce cooperation pilot zone, build a national service trade innovation and development demonstration zone, and promote high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China is promoting opportunities for all countries and parties to share in institutionalized openness. After the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which became the world’s largest free trade agreement in November 2020, China officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in September 2021.
In November 2021, China formally submitted its application to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).
For nearly 22 years since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), China has been participating in WTO rulemaking and is now fully engaged in WTO reform negotiations.
These efforts represent significant progress in China’s participation in international economic and trade agreements and demonstrate China’s determination to promote domestic reform and openness, expanding market access to the world’s second-largest economy and sharing China’s development dividends with the world.
Hong Kong is fully connected to international financial markets and various types of investors. It has been the largest source of foreign investment entering the mainland. As of the end of 2019, 47.4 percent of foreign investment projects approved on the mainland were related to Hong Kong
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Hong Kong is fully connected to international financial markets and various types of investors. It has been the largest source of foreign investment entering the mainland. As of the end of 2019, 47.4 percent of foreign investment projects approved on the mainland were related to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong needs to strengthen its role in connecting the entire Chinese economy and the global capital market. Through its international network, it can introduce good opportunities to the mainland and use its financial advantages to bring in capital to projects with investment needs and potential returns.
President Xi also mentioned the need to stimulate the vitality of private capital investment, encourage and attract more private capital to participate in major national projects and key industrial supply chain projects, and make greater contributions to building a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development.
It is possible to establish funds and investment cooperation companies with local governments on the mainland to guide private capital to focus on key industries.
The current world economy is facing multiple challenges such as high inflation, weakening demand, geopolitical conflicts, energy and food insecurity.
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This year, our country’s development target is to achieve GDP growth of around 5 percent, with equal emphasis on “quality” and “quantity”, and will continuously contribute to the sluggish global economy. As President Xi said, promoting the construction of a strong country cannot be separated from the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
The country supports Hong Kong’s economic development, improvement of people’s livelihoods, and better integration into the overall development of the country. We must firmly grasp the opportunities, contribute to the needs of national development, and fulfil our responsibilities, while accelerating the creation of a new situation of governance and prosperity.
The author is chairman of Hong Kong Finance Association.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.