Regulators give massive fillip to biz ties among GBA regions

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Aerial photo taken on July 11, 2018 shows the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is actively paving the way for closer economic and business relations among various regions of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, experts said after a quick review of two key documents unveiled on Thursday.

The documents underlined financial support for the development of Qianhai in Shenzhen and Hengqin in Zhuhai, both in South China's Guangdong province.

The People's Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the Guangdong provincial government jointly released two documents on Thursday.

The guidelines in them contain dozens of financial support measures in fields such as financial services relating to people's livelihood, connectivity among financial markets, the development of the modern financial industry, accelerated facilitation of cross-border trade, investment and financing, and enhanced cooperation on financial regulation.

China's efforts to develop the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and promote reforms and opening-up in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone will further expand the opening-up policy and boost innovation in China's finance sector.

They will also deepen financial cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and offer strong financial support for building a major cooperation platform in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the PBOC said in a statement.

Yang Haiping, a researcher at the Institute of Securities and Futures, which is part of the Central University of Finance and Economics, said both documents highlighted boosting infrastructure connectivity and enhancing connectivity among financial markets in Hengqin and Macao as well as Qianhai and Hong Kong, which can promote high-level institutional opening-up and enhance cooperation among various GBA regions.

Lou Feipeng, senior economist at the Postal Savings Bank of China, said the two new documents mark a key move to implement major national strategies, which will better serve the real economy, speed up the construction of the GBA and further expand high-level opening-up.

Citing key measures mapped out in the guideline for Qianhai, he said improving the quality and efficiency of financial services for local citizens will meet people's growing demand for better lives, and measures on boosting connectivity will give better play to Hong Kong's role as an international financial center and further integrate China's financial markets globally.

By 2025, the policy system and the management system focusing on expanding financial opening-up and renminbi internationalization will be established and improved in Qianhai, and high-level connectivity among financial markets in Qianhai and Hong Kong will be achieved. By then, the electronic fence system and the cross-border financial management system will be established at a basic level in Hengqin, according to the documents.

By 2035, Qianhai will strive for a higher-standard financial openness based on a negative list approach, create a world-class financial environment, and establish a financial rule-based system in line with international markets.

And the cooperation zone in Hengqin will be built into a highland of expanding financial opening-up, a Chinese- and Portuguese-speaking countries' financial service platform and a demonstration area for advancing connectivity among financial markets in the GBA.

Citing the guidelines, Charlie Zheng, chief economist at Samoyed Cloud Technology Group Holdings Ltd, said the fact that eligible financial institutions in Hengqin and Qianhai are allowed to carry out certain offshore finance business can help the two regions better leverage overseas financial resources and integrate the development of local financial services with the world.

Zhou Maohua, a macroeconomic analyst at China Everbright Bank, said the new guidelines will enable Hengqin and Qianhai to pursue innovative development of financial services, in terms of facilitating cross-border transactions of individuals.

This will help the two regions to fully leverage the role of finance in allocating resources, empower the development of businesses in modern services and promote the country's opening-up agenda, Zhou said.

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