The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) released by the Central Government last month has laid a solid foundation for the development of the area. It sets out a comprehensive and clear blueprint for the GBA, which promotes complementary development and mutually beneficial partnerships among the nine cities and two special administrative regions.
I hope the SAR Government will continue to tackle the issue of "big doors are open, but small doors are not yet open" faced by Hong Kong enterprises operating on the Mainland, so as to allow us to get on board the express train of national development.
The GBA is a vast unified market. As one of the four key cities in the GBA, Hong Kong is well positioned to benefit from the GBA development. Also, we are an international financial centre and Asia's transport hub, with a mature business environment and a global outlook. This means that Hong Kong can leverage on its advantage of "one country, two systems" to help more Mainland enterprises "go global" while introducing more foreign companies, advanced management experience and quality services to the GBA, with a view to achieving a win-win situation for all.
Moreover, Hong Kong receives plaudits for its professional services, healthcare and education. With a huge market of tens of millions – coupled with the development of land resources as well as the flow of people, goods and capital – the GBA can bring tremendous opportunities to industries where Hong Kong enjoys a competitive edge.
Some hurdles remain. Indeed, the business sector is particularly concerned about the three different administrative and tax systems in the GBA. The cities in the region should strengthen communication and coordination, especially with regard to their tax and regulatory systems, to minimize differences.
The SAR Government should strive for tax concessions or other incentives for Hong Kong residents working in the GBA. Meanwhile, issues such as healthcare and cross-border payment in the GBA cities should also be addressed to attract Hong Kong people and businesses.
The GBA presents promising prospects. Different sectors of the Hong Kong community have been keenly looking forward to the development, aspiring to start their own businesses or further their careers. As long as the business sector aims high and embraces innovation and creativity, while joining hands with Mainland enterprises and learning from each other, they will be able to give play to their competencies in the GBA.
The SAR Government should continue to listen to the voices of different sectors, and roll out measures to facilitate Hong Kong people and businesses to maximize the benefits of the GBA development.