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March 1, 2019

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Greater Bay integration is gathering pace

CHINA has made substantial progress in integrating the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area into a vibrant world-class city cluster.

Guangdong Province has set up a leading group and six specialized groups to push ahead with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area development, Lin Shaochun, executive vice governor of Guangdong Province, said yesterday at a press conference hosted by the State Council Information Office.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has reached an agreement with Guangdong to build a campus in Guangzhou, capital of the province, according to Lin.

Altogether, six Hong Kong colleges and universities have founded 72 scientific research institutions in Shenzhen, while Guangdong and Hong Kong has jointly subsidized 151 innovative programs.

The infrastructure connectivity in the area has been significantly improved, said Lin, mentioning the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as a model project of the Greater Bay Area.

Guangdong has opened up 153 service sectors to Hong Kong and Macau, accounting for 95.6 percent of 160 service sectors listed by the World Trade Organization.

For the first time, a Guangdong and Macau Cooperation Development Fund has been established, with the first batch of investment of 20 billion yuan (US$3 billion), Lin said.

Guangdong has unveiled many facilitation measures for Hong Kong and Macau residents studying, investing and living in the province. For example, the number of colleges and universities that can enroll students from Hong Kong and Macau has risen to 50.

China unveiled the outline development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area last week, aiming to develop the region into “a role model of high-quality development.”

The bay area consists of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macau Special Administrative Region, as well as nine cities in Guangdong Province — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

Covering 56,000 square kilometers, the bay area had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017.


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