A symposium was jointly organised by the Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao governments in Tokyo, Japan, recently. At the conference, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive reportedly called on Japanese businesses to seize the unique business opportunities arising from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The Symposium on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is the first joint promotion held overseas by the three governments since the Central Government announced the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on 18 February 2019. Over 1,000 executives and leaders from various sectors attended.
The event started with opening remarks by several high-profile Government leaders from the regions.
The Hong Kong CE told the audience that Hong Kong has a lot of strengths in terms of its international status and research capability.
It is a global financial centre and aviation hub with an international business environment based on the rule of law and has been named the freest economy in the world by the Heritage Foundation for 25 years in a row.
The city has a global business network with 13 Economic and Trade Offices around the world and over 8,700 overseas and Mainland companies currently doing business in Hong Kong. Four of the city’s universities are among the world’s top 100, and many have strong research capability.
Hong Kong will contribute to the Greater Bay Area development by leveraging its multiple roles as an International financial, logistics and trading centre as well as a global innovation and technology hub and the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong, Macao and the nine other cities will complement each other to promote coordinated economic development in the Greater Bay Area to develop an international first-class bay area.
The CE added that the Greater Bay Area is a new engine to propel the close ties between Hong Kong and Japan. Japan is Hong Kong’s fourth-largest merchandise trading partner and Hong Kong is Japan’s eighth largest.
About 1,400 Japanese companies currently operate in Hong Kong, and 47 per cent of them have regional headquarters or regional offices in the city. There were 2.2 million visitors from Hong Kong to Japan and 1.29 million from Japan to Hong Kong in 2018.
The CE encouraged Japanese companies to leverage Hong Kong’s platform to take advantage of the business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.
Following the opening addresses was the morning panel discussion on the opportunities of the Greater Bay Area. Speakers included many of the regions’ top government minds and experts.
Two-panel sessions in the afternoon have speakers focusing on innovation and technology and smart health trends. Speakers at the innovation and technology panel include the founder of a major tech firm, the President of the Asia Pacific Business Group and Vice President of Strategy of the world’s leading AI start-up as well as other businesspeople and leaders.
Speakers at the smart health panel included the Chairman and President of a global pharmaceutical firm, the Chairman and CEO of a holdings firm and other well-known experts from the pharmaceutical industry and other health-related business arenas.
The Greater Bay Area covers nine cities in Guangdong Province, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, as well as the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao. It is an enormous market with a population of 71 million and a gross domestic product of US$1.6 trillion.