CS and Mayor of Shenzhen co-chair Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting (with photos/video)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Chan Kwok-ki, and the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Qin Weizhong, co-chaired the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting 2023 in Hong Kong on February 22. At the meeting, both sides reviewed the achievements made since the last Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting and set out the directions for co-operation in the coming year.
     Mr Chan said, "This is the first physical co-operation meeting held between Hong Kong and a Mainland province/city since the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, demonstrating that we both are on the path towards resuming normality and that Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation carries special importance." 
     He continued, "Looking ahead, under the spirit of complementarity, we will continue to utilise the mechanism of the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting to further deepen our collaboration, so as to foster development in various key areas including the Northern Metropolis development strategy, innovation and technology, mutual access of financial markets, and youth innovation and entrepreneurship. Hong Kong and Shenzhen will continue to pursue higher-level, deeper and broader collaboration to achieve more integrated development, with a view to jointly making greater contributions to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and of the country."
     The governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen have made steady progress in various co-operation areas. The progress made in individual areas and the directions set for future co-operation are outlined below. 

Northern Metropolis Development
     The Northern Metropolis is the new foothold for Hong Kong's strategic development in the future, and an important base for promoting innovation and technology and diversified development. It would help boost Hong Kong's development momentum, facilitate economic co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) (especially Shenzhen), and create higher-quality living space for citizens. Under the Hong Kong/Guangdong and Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation mechanisms, the HKSAR Government has set up a Task Force for Collaboration on the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy to strengthen co-operation and exchanges between the two places on matters related to the Northern Metropolis. The first meeting of the Task Force will be held in Shenzhen shortly.
Innovation and Technology
     The 14th Five-Year Plan expressly supports Hong Kong's development as an international innovation and technology (I&T) centre and has, for the first time, included the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop as one of the four major platforms of co-operation in the GBA. This has fully reflected the importance that the Central Government attaches to Hong Kong's I&T and the Loop development. Hong Kong and Shenzhen are working together in full steam to promote the development of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone formed by the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) at the Lok Ma Chau Loop and the Shenzhen I&T Zone, with a view to exploring the trial implementation of cross-boundary I&T policy, covering the flow of materials, capital, data and personnel between the two places, premised on the basis of "one zone, two parks".
     Construction of batch 1 buildings of the HSITP will be completed progressively in phases from the end of 2024 onwards. Having regard to the latest planning and market development in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the HKSAR Government is studying how to expedite and optimise the development of the HSITP. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation has set up the "GBA InnoAcademy" and "GBA InnoExpress" in July last year. Located in Futian District in Shenzhen, "the Shenzhen branch of the Hong Kong Science Park" is expected to commence operation in the first half of this year. Institutes and enterprises interested in seeking opportunities in the GBA may first start their businesses in the Shenzhen I&T Zone.
Financial Services
     The financial co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen has been close. Notably, mutual market access schemes including the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect have been operating smoothly and well received by the market since their launch. These schemes contribute to the further opening up of the Mainland financial market and consolidate Hong Kong's role as the gateway and the bridge for international and Mainland capital flows. 
     The governments of the two places will continue to explore the implementation of measures on financial co-operation, including proposals to further expand the mutual market access schemes and putting into effect enhancement arrangements, establishing insurance after-sales service centres by the Hong Kong insurance industry in the GBA areas such as Qianhai of Shenzhen, facilitating cross-boundary financial technology (fintech) applications and nurturing fintech talents, and strengthening co-operation on green and sustainable finance. The HKSAR Government welcomes the Shenzhen Municipal Government to continue to issue offshore Renminbi bonds in Hong Kong and leverage Hong Kong as its premier financing platform.  
     To further encourage the youth to grasp the opportunities arising from the development of financial services in the GBA, the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed the Letter of Intent on Hong Kong-Shenzhen Financial Institutions Youth Internship Programme after the meeting on February 22.  
     On higher education, the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK(SZ)) signed after the meeting on February 22 a supplementary agreement to further deepen co-operation in areas such as expanding the scale of the CUHK(SZ) and launching scientific research. The CUHK(SZ) and the University of Hong Kong's Shenzhen campus, which is under active planning, will help develop both Hong Kong and Shenzhen into talent pools in the GBA. 
     On vocational and professional education and training, the first Mainland office of the Vocational Training Council (VTC) in Shenzhen will open in March this year. The HKSAR Government will continue to support the VTC to strengthen co-operation with Shenzhen Polytechnic and to launch more joint programmes and offer more internship opportunities in due course.
     The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to tourism co-operation within the GBA including Shenzhen. Following the resumption of cross boundary travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the HKSAR Government together with the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) will continue to maintain close liaison with Shenzhen to jointly explore opportunities for promotion of tourism resources in both places.  
     To strengthen exchanges and co-operation on tourism between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the HKTB and the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports, Tourism, Radio and Television signed the Tourism Co-operation Agreement after the meeting on February 22.
Commerce and Investment Promotion
     On supporting Hong Kong enterprises to tap into the Mainland market, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has established the "HKTDC GBA Centre" and "GoGBA Business Support Centre" in Shenzhen to assist Hong Kong enterprises in taking the GBA as an entry point to develop the domestic sales market. The HKTDC will organise the flagship event "Chic HK" in Shenzhen in May this year to promote Hong Kong's products.
     Furthmore, Invest Hong Kong and the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality have reached a consensus to jointly attract overseas investment to Hong Kong and Shenzhen by co-organising overseas investment promotion events, including physical conferences to be held this year in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, as well as virtual seminars for joint promotion utilising the network of overseas offices of both sides. An investment forum will also be conducted in Hong Kong in the middle of this year to promote the business advantages of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, so as to attract more foreign investors to start businesses in both places.
Qianhai Development
     The expansion of Qianhai brings new opportunities of collaboration to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Since its establishment, Qianhai has been positioned as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone. At present, more than 10 000 Hong Kong-invested enterprises have registered in Qianhai and are operating in the modern service industries such as financial services, logistics, information services. The HKSAR Government will maintain close co-operation with the Shenzhen Municipal Government on Qianhai development, and looks forward to seeing more policy breakthroughs being implemented on a pilot basis.
Professional Services
     On legal and dispute resolution services, the HKSAR Government will continue to create more opportunities in the Mainland cities in the GBA (including Shenzhen) for the Hong Kong legal services sector. Efforts include seeking the support of the Mainland authorities for extending the measure of allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law and to choose Hong Kong as the seat of arbitration to be applicable to the whole of Shenzhen and then to other parts of the GBA.
     The first two GBA Legal Professional Examinations (GBA Exam) have been successfully held. As at the end of 2022, 205 Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners have been allowed to practise in the nine Mainland cities in the GBA. The third GBA Exam is scheduled to take place in May this year, and there will be an examination venue in Hong Kong as before. The HKSAR Government will co-organise with the Mainland authorities practical legal training courses for the Hong Kong legal practitioners who have passed the GBA Exam.
     On architectural and engineering related professional services, the implementation of a registration system in Qianhai in October 2020 has enabled eligible Hong Kong enterprises and professionals in five disciplines, namely engineering, architecture, surveying, planning and landscape architecture, to provide direct services in Qianhai of Shenzhen through a simple registration system to acquire equivalent qualifications in the Mainland. At present, a total of about 50 enterprises and 400 professionals have completed their registration.
Cross-Boundary Infrastructure
     In order to develop the "GBA on the Rail", the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen through the jointly established "Task Force for Hong Kong-Shenzhen Co-operation on Cross-Boundary Railway Infrastructure" is following up with the implementation of projects including Hong Kong–Shenzhen Western Rail Link (Hung Shui Kiu–Qianhai) and Northern Link Spur Line. In particular, the first stage study on the Hong Kong–Shenzhen Western Rail Link (Hung Shui Kiu–Qianhai) was completed last year, and the second stage study has already commenced which is expected to complete in mid-2024.
     The Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point, connecting to Liantang Port of the Mainland, has been fully commissioned since February 6 this year. At the same time, Hong Kong and Shenzhen spare no effort to take forward the Huanggang redevelopment project. The new Huanggang port will adopt the "collaborative inspection and joint clearance" mode to further facilitate passenger clearance and enhance the overall clearance efficiency.
Youth Development
     The HKSAR Government has subsidised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) through the Youth Development Fund to implement youth entrepreneurship projects. In particular, some of the funded NGOs will co-operate with 10 entrepreneurial bases in Shenzhen to render entrepreneurial support and incubation services to youth start-ups. 
     Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has been striving to enhance Hong Kong young people's understanding of national affairs by providing them, through sponsoring NGOs to organise youth exchange and internship activities, with exchange and internship opportunities in the Mainland. In particular, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Hong Kong Youth Internship Scheme has covered all Mainland cities of the GBA (including Shenzhen) since 2019, providing about 1 000 diverse internship placements.
     On employment, a new round of application under a regularised GBA Youth Employment Scheme will commence in March this year. The HKSAR Government will continue to encourage young people of Hong Kong to grasp the opportunities of developing their careers in the GBA (including Shenzhen).
Environmental Protection
     To fully implement the Outline Development Plan for the GBA and take forward the Northern Metropolitan development, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the HKSAR Government and the Planning and Natural Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality signed the Framework Arrangement for the Conservation of Shenzhen Bay (Deep Bay) Wetlands in January this year. The Framework Arrangement seeks to establish sister wetlands between the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site and the Guangdong Neilingding Futian National Nature Reserve, with a view to jointly promoting the protection and development of Shenzhen Bay (Deep Bay) wetlands. Both sides will establish a working group in the first quarter this year, with a view to formulating and jointly implementing as early as possible the work plan in respect of various co-operation areas under the Framework Arrangement.
     In order to promote the development of quality healthcare services in the GBA, the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine joined with the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission to establish the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Medical Specialist Training Centre in Shenzhen in 2019 and gradually promote regularised specialist training in line with international standards to high-quality hospitals in Shenzhen. 
     Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government, the Hospital Authority (HA) and the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital will review the follow-up arrangements of the Special Support Scheme for chronic disease patients to sustain their medical consultation with a view to better exploring and planning a suitable model to cater for the medical needs of Hong Kong residents living in Mainland cities in the GBA. Apart from that, the HA will adopt the Shenzhen Hospital Accreditation Research Centre accreditation programme at its two hospitals in 2023-24. It will ensure that the management and service standards of the HA hospitals meet the international standards, while supporting the internationalisation of the national hospital accreditation standards. The Health Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission will continue to deepen collaboration.
Attending Officials
     Officials of the HKSAR Government accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration to attend the meeting on February 22 included the Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Cheuk Wing-hing; the Deputy Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; the Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung; the Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau; the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn; the Secretary for Education, Dr Choi Yuk-lin; the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, Miss Alice Mak; the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Joseph Chan; the Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Ms Lillian Cheong; and other representatives of the relevant bureaux.

Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2023
Issued at HKT 3:20