(Front row, from fourth left) Chief Secretary for Administration Chan Kwok-ki, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Wang Linggui, Secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee Yuan Jiajun, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, and Mayor of Chongqing Hu Henghua and other participants pose for a group photo before the High-Level Meeting cum First Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Chongqing Co-operation Conference in Chongqing on May 11, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Chongqing municipality announced plans to deepen cooperation in 11 areas covering the economy, innovation, traditional Chinese medicine and talent exchanges through a new cooperation mechanism.
Senior officials from the two cities also reached consensus on how to jointly promote the country's high quality development at the High-Level Meeting cum First Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Chongqing Co-operation Conference held in Chongqing on Thursday.
At the meeting-cum-plenary, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that both the SAR and Chongqing play unique roles under the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and will achieve complementary and mutual benefits with the new cooperation mechanism. It also marks better integration into the nation's overall development for Hong Kong, Lee added.
Areas highlighted in the new mechanism include the economy and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, finance, innovation and technology, logistics, cultural exchanges and tourism, education, talent exchanges, youth development, legal and dispute resolution, health and TCM, and facilitation for Hong Kong people residing in the Chinese mainland
The cooperation mechanism with Chongqing is the first high-level government cooperation mechanism established by Hong Kong with the mainland's provinces or municipalities since the currrent-term SAR government has taken office. It was the third such agreement between Hong Kong and a mainland municipality directly under the central government, after Beijing and Shanghai.
Areas highlighted in the new mechanism include the economy and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, finance, innovation and technology, logistics, cultural exchanges and tourism, education, talent exchanges, youth development, legal and dispute resolution, health and TCM, and facilitation for Hong Kong people residing in the Chinese mainland. The two cities also signed two cooperation memorandums to boost commercial and innovation collaboration at the meeting.
Before attending the meeting on Thursday afternoon, Lee, who led the Hong Kong delegation to visit Chongqing for three days starting Wednesday, visited a local science city and met Hong Kong scientists working there.
READ MORE: CE to visit Chongqing for three days starting Wednesday
In the Jinfeng Laboratory at science city, Lee was shown technology that uses high-intensity ultrasound to remove tumors without leaving any wounds on patients’ bodies. The technology has also been introduced to hospitals in Hong Kong.
Lee also met with medical experts at the park to learn more about medical exchanges between Hong Kong and Chongqing. Among them is Li Hiu-ming, a medical technologist from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Li has been facilitating the exchange and training of doctors involving CUHK and the Chinese mainland for decades, including arranging for doctors from Chongqing to attend academic conferences or to embark on short-term studies in Hong Kong.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (left) learns about the application of the ultrasound therapeutic device while visiting the Jinfeng Laboratory in Chongqing on May 11, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
In a social media post, Lee said the HKSAR government will continue to encourage and facilitate universities and research institutions in Hong Kong and Chongqing to share basic scientific research, research resources and achievements, and the building of research infrastructure.
He added that Hong Kong also supports research institutions and enterprises of the two cities to collaborate in building an international platform to facilitate the commercialization and application of technologies that benefit both parties.
Lee also toured the International Logistics Hub in Inland China Exhibition Centre and the Ciqikou Ancient Town on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the delegation visited the Chongqing International Financial Square and learned about Hong Kong enterprises’ investment and projects in the city.
READ MORE: HK leader seeks ties with Chongqing
Lee also met and exchanged views with Hong Kong people and representatives of Hong Kong enterprises in Chongqing on Wednesday evening. He thanked Hong Kong enterprises for their active participation in Chongqing’s development, which has paved the way for co-operation between the two places.
He said he hopes that Hong Kong enterprises and youths can fully leverage the opportunities brought by the newly established Hong Kong-Chongqing co-operation mechanism, promoting exchanges between the two cities, and telling the Hong Kong stories well.