The Commissioner for Belt and Road of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau Denis Yip (right), and the Director-General of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, Wang Shengwen (second left), sign a Memorandum of Understanding via video conferencing at the sixth Belt and Road Summit on enhancing exchanges and cooperation in promoting high-quality development of overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones, Sept 1, 2021. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Ministry of Commerce signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation in promoting high-quality development of overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones (ETCZs).
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The memorandum, signed at the sixth Belt and Road Summit between the two sides via video conferencing, was pursuant to the principle of "government providing guidance, enterprises taking the lead, and market-oriented operation," according to a statement issued by the HKSAR government.
Under the memorandum, the HKSAR government and the Ministry of Commerce will encourage enterprises to invest and set up businesses at the zones, develop the zones jointly with different means and explore international markets
Hong Kong plays a unique role in the Belt and Road Initiative. The signing of the memorandum will allow Hong Kong to use the overseas economic and trade cooperation zones as a platform to participate deeply in the Belt and Road Initiative and conduct exchanges and cooperation with other countries and regions, said the MOC.
The memorandum will help the mainland and Hong Kong draw on each other's strengths, further advance cooperation among the mainland, Hong Kong and countries along the Belt and Road, and achieve common development for all, the MOC added.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Belt and Road of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau Denis Yip said the memorandum officially laid down a strong policy foundation for promoting exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong at the ETCZs, which “will be helpful to Hong Kong businesses in expanding to the Belt and Road markets.”
“With the signing of the memorandum, the HKSAR government will continue to support Hong Kong businesses in exploring different new markets and tap into opportunities arising from the post-pandemic economic recovery,” Yip said.
The memorandum will further advance the economic and trade cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong, and encourage Hong Kong to be an "important channel" in building a new development paradigm and better integrate into the country's overall development
Under the memorandum, the HKSAR government and the MOC will encourage enterprises to invest and set up businesses at the zones, develop the zones jointly with different means and explore international markets.
“At the same time, both sides will strengthen interfacing and collaboration between Hong Kong enterprises and professional services sectors and the ETCZs,” said the HKSAR government in the statement.
The two sides will support Hong Kong enterprises' participation in operating and managing the zones through the provision of professional services. They will also support Hong Kong professional services sectors in providing services in different areas for the ETCZs.
Mainland and Hong Kong financial institutions will be encouraged to provide suitable financial services as well as diversified financing channels for enterprises involving in the zones’ development.
The ETCZs will also be encouraged to provide Hong Kong enterprises and professional services sectors to set up there, according to the memorandum.
Furthermore, the memorandum states that the two sides will encourage enterprises, business associations, trade and industry organizations and intermediaries of both places to jointly organize business missions to Belt and Road-related countries and seminars, and to establish exchange platforms and more.
The two sides will also support exchanges and collaboration amongst the ETCZs and Hong Kong on talent development, including encouraging Hong Kong consulting services agencies to provide professional training for the ETCZs.
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For the development of the ETCZs, creating a favorable environment conducive to business operation is also a direction of cooperation in the memorandum.
With Xinhua inputs