Editor’s note: With the annual two sessions — the simultaneous meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference — taking place, Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, members of the National Committee of the CPPCC, and political groups offered suggestions on how Hong Kong can better integrate into national development and cooperate with other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Starry Lee Wai-king, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Lee proposes a single accountancy examination for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area — similar to the legal sector’s single professional examination. She believes a unified examination will facilitate the cross-boundary flow of accountants, helping to develop and strengthen financial services in the Greater Bay Area.
To balance benefits and costs, Lee also suggests reviewing and coordinating the region’s tax systems to reduce obstacles to promoting people and business flow in the 11-city cluster.
Starry Lee Wai-king, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress
Allen Yeung Tak-bun, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Yeung suggests that Shenzhen and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region step up the flow of cross-boundary data and create an international data trading center.
Shenzhen can try to trade data with international buyers through the SAR, and trust eligible Hong Kong agencies in data storage and management, so that overseas companies could legitimately utilize the Chinese mainland’s digital information.
Allen Yeung Tak-bun, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress
Nick Chan Hiu-fung, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Chan would like to see stronger rule of law in the international community as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16; increased trade with foreign countries as part of the nation’s “dual circulation” strategy; and Hong Kong’s role realized under the Greater Bay Area Plan and the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) as an international innovation and technology center, global trade hub and a center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific.
He says the SAR should position itself as a regional intellectual property trading center by intelligently deploying technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud, lawtech, eKYC (electronic “know your customer”) and the Legal Entity Identifier; hire top lawyers with international experience, as well as experience in “smart courts” on the Chinese mainland.
Nick Chan Hiu-fung, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress
William Wong Kam-fai, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
To further strengthen coordination in the Greater Bay Area, Wong hopes that authorities in the region can set specific indicators to measure and boost intercity cooperation in trade, finance, technology and infrastructure.
Each year, GBA cities should update their cooperation indicators and progress with other cities in the region, as well as the central government, enabling them to keep abreast of the latest situation and achieve better coordination, Wong says.
He also suggests placing the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Cooperation Zone at Lok Ma Chau under the joint management of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong authorities and the Ministry of Science and Technology to accelerate the zone’s development.
William Wong Kam-fai, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
To enable more Hong Kong people to better understand the situation on the mainland, Hong Kong’s biggest political party proposes that Hong Kong civil servants be allowed to serve temporarily in local governments on the mainland, and having more Hong Kong young people join in the nation’s poverty alleviation efforts.
The DAB also hopes that major national events will attract more Hong Kong volunteers to participate, and the nation’s “Spring Festival Gala” could include more Hong Kong programs. These would help deepen people-to-people exchanges between the SAR and the mainland, and reinforce Hong Kong people’s bonds with the mainland.
The HKSAR and the mainland should accelerate mutual recognition of professional qualifications in more sectors, as well as associate degrees, and strengthen the training mechanism for technical personnel on both sides.
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
The party calls for doubling efforts to set up a Greater Bay Area smart healthcare research base in Hong Kong’s Northern Metropolis — an envisioned integrated living and economic region in the northern New Territories. The alliance says Hong Kong can also help raise funds for the mainland’s healthcare industries by leveraging the city’s well-established financial platforms.
More initiatives could be rolled out to encourage Chinese science and technology enterprises to set foot in the Northern Metropolis. The new town can also build a State key laboratory to accelerate the SAR’s inno-tech development, as well as an incubation park for GBA entrepreneurs to transform their research results.
The BPA says the Northern Metropolis can be turned into a talent pool for science and technology with more initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and favorable visa programs to attract talent.
Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong
The FTU calls for stepped-up mutual recognition of birth, death and marriage certificates between the SAR and the mainland, as well as certificates proving that a person has never married. At present, such documents are not accepted on either side unless they’re notarized by organizations or lawyers.
The federation also proposes that the age limit for cross-boundary commercial vehicle drivers be raised to 65 when renewing their driving licenses. Currently, about one-third of Hong Kong’s 10,000 cross-boundary drivers are older than 60, exceeding the nation’s age limit for commercial vehicle drivers.
The FTU says there’s also a need to build a comprehensive, Hong Kong-style dental hospital on the mainland side near the boundary checkpoints, as the SAR currently has only 11 public dental clinics. Such a hospital would offer a cheaper, reliable and convenient choice for Hong Kong residents seeking dental services on the mainland.
The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions