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Guangdong, HK, Macao to coordinate on cooperation zones

This undated photo shows a panoramic view of Qianhai of Shenzhen, Guangdong province (PHOTO / VCG)

BEIJING – Officials from China's Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao said on Thursday that they will join hands in implementing plans for developing cooperation zones.

China's central authorities have recently issued a general plan for building a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone and a new plan for further developing a Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation zone.

The HKSAR government will also continue to strengthen cooperation with the Shenzhen municipal government on financial services

The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region welcomes the Shenzhen-Hong Kong plan, said Lee Ka-chiu, chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government.

Lee said the HKSAR government is confident in leveraging the institutional advantage brought by the "one country, two systems" principle, adding that the HKSAR will participate in developing the modern service industry of the cooperation zone to explore growing space for its professional-service business.

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The HKSAR government will also continue to strengthen cooperation with the Shenzhen municipal government on financial services, Lee said.

The two governments have set up special working groups to promote financial connectivity, thus making greater contribution to the high-quality development of the Greater Bay Area and deepening the reform of the country's financial market, he said.

"The financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen has always been close and fruitful," Lee said.

The cumulative turnover of northbound transactions has exceeded 28 trillion yuan (about US$4.3 trillion) from the launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect program in December 2016 to the end of July, while the cumulative turnover of southbound transactions has exceeded HK$8.3 trillion.  

Cheong Weng Chon, secretary for administration and justice of the Macao SAR, also said the regional government welcomes the Guangdong-Macao plan, and is grateful to the central authorities.

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Cheong said the zone will become a new platform to boost Macao's appropriate economic diversification, a new space that makes the lives and work of Macao residents more convenient, a new model to enrich the practice of "one country, two systems," as well as a new high-ground for building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The two zones bring new major historical opportunities for the reform and development of Guangdong Province in the new development stage, said Lin Keqing, executive vice governor of the province.