SCIO press conference on the development of Hengqin and Qianhai

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Southern Metropolis Daily:

General Secretary Xi Jinping has inspected Qianhai many times, calling for the area to leverage the advantages of Hong Kong, provide services to the mainland, and maintain an international vision. Could you please introduce the efforts Qianhai has made in promoting cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong in recent years? What measures will be adopted to leverage Qianhai's role in advancing in-depth cooperation with Shenzhen and Hong Kong?

Chen Wenjun:

This question regards both Shenzhen and Hong Kong. I'd like to invite Mr. Qin to answer it first.

Qin Weizhong:

Thank you for your question. With the care of General Secretary Xi Jinping, Qianhai has been established as a major strategic platform of reform and opening up in the new era. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has inspected Qianhai three times and made important instructions, giving full recognition to its development model and growth momentum. The Qianhai plan issued by the central authorities showcases the care of the General Secretary and the CPC Central Committee toward Qianhai's development. The CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Shenzhen municipal government, following the strategic instructions made by the General Secretary and the CPC Central Committee, have immediately relayed and implemented the Qianhai plan. With the support of relevant ministries, governments of Guangdong province and Hong Kong SAR, we have been striving to develop and open up Qianhai. The main achievements of Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation in recent years lie in three aspects:

First, a lot of modern service companies from Hong Kong have registered in Qianhai. A total of 11,500 Hong Kong-invested companies have registered in Qianhai, with the actual use of Hong Kong investment reaching $22.6 billion. Qianhai has become a home to China's first Hong Kong-invested holding consumer finance company, the first Hong Kong-invested holding public offering fund company, as well as the first joint venture securities company.

Second, the institutional innovation has made a series of achievements. A total of 645 achievements have been made thanks to institutional innovation, 65 of which have been adopted nationwide.

Third, a series of favorable measures have been put in place to help Hong Kong residents in terms of their living and employment. Currently, talents in more than 20 sectors, such as tax accountants and registered architects, are able to conveniently work in Qianhai. The Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub and other similar organizations have fostered 245 startup venture teams from Hong Kong. As such, Qianhai has become one of the regions with the highest correlation and closest cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong. A high degree of consensus was achieved at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation meeting held on Sept. 6. Going forward, we will comprehensively implement the requirements of the Qianhai plan made by the central authorities, and remain true to the original aspiration of serving Hong Kong and Macao. We will adhere to the requirements of leveraging the advantages of Hong Kong, providing services to the mainland, and maintaining an international vision. We will strive to promote Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation upto a new level, and support Hong Kong to further integrate into the national development.  

First, we will make good use of the "new space" brought about by the expansion of the cooperation zone. We will ensure high quality in the new round of general planning and the territorial space planning for the development of Qianhai, and ensure that one third of the newly vacated land designated for industrial purposes will be used by Hong Kong capital and Hong Kong-invested companies.

Second, we will take advantage of the "new dividends" brought about by the new policies. We will work toward making policies in terms of industries, finance and laws accessible in the whole area, and fully leverage the huge opportunities presented in expanding the area.  

Third, we will explore "new fronts" of Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation, such as modern finance, technology services, exhibition economy, marine economy and professional services.

Fourth, we will foster "new advantages" in the business environment. We will accelerate the adoption of regulations to protect investors in the Qianhai cooperation zone. We will work with Hong Kong to build an international legal services center and an international commercial dispute resolution center. We will also build the cooperation zone into a pilot platform for comprehensively deepening reform and innovation and a gateway hub for high-level opening up.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to invite all of you to visit Qianhai. Thank you.

John Lee Ka-chiu:

Thank you for your question. The cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen has been a unique story during China's reform and opening up over the past 40-plus years. Such practice of giving full play to Hong Kong's advantages and contributing to the country's needs has been a win-win and mutually beneficial relationship. The release of the Qianhai plan will ensure a higher level of cooperation between the two cities, and leverage their roles as "double engines" in promoting development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

With the support of the central authorities, the local governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been making great efforts to improve the development of the Qianhai area and facilitate Hong Kong's professional service providers entering Qianhai. In recent years, policies and measures have been put in place to further open up the professional services sector, which is highly welcomed by industry in Hong Kong. For example, in terms of legal services, Qianhai is the first place to establish joint venture law firm run by law firms from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. This pilot experience has been adopted across the Chinese mainland. Qianhai took the lead to use Hong Kong's investment and laws, allowing those Hong Kong-invested companies to take Hong Kong's laws as those applicable to civil and commercial contracts. Moreover, eligible Hong Kong lawyers and barristers, who have obtained their practicing certificates after examination, are able to engage in part of the legal services in the nine mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area. In terms of architecture and related engineering professional services, eligible Hong Kong consultant companies, contractors and other professional personnel, are able to provide services in Qianhai after registering their certificates. Corresponding to the related certificates on the Chinese mainland, their services can cover five areas: architecture, engineering, measurement, planning and landscape architecture. 

The Hong Kong SAR government will deliberate with the relevant central government departments on how to utilize the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) to immediately implement Qianhai plan's measures on further opening service trade and help Hong Kong's professional service sector make deployments and arrangements as soon as possible. The Hong Kong SAR government will also work with relevant industries to provide suggestions for and cooperate with the Qianhai cooperation zone in such fields as finance, innovative technology, law and business environment after its expansion.

At the same time, the Hong Kong SAR government will strengthen cooperation with the Guangdong and Shenzhen governments to further support Hong Kong youths in their startups based on the sound foundation of projects such as the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub and the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Thank you.

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