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HK, SZ to boost co-operation

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today led a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government delegation to attend the High-level Meeting & Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting 2021 in Shenzhen.   The Shenzhen government delegation was headed by the Communist Party of China Shenzhen Municipal Committee Secretary Wang Weizhong.   The Hong Kong SAR and Shenzhen governments reviewed the achievements made since the last Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting and set out the directions for co-operation in the coming year. They also witnessed the signing of a number of co-operation agreements between the two places.   Mrs Lam said: “This year marks the beginning of the implementation of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, together with the enormous opportunities brought by the development of the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation is set to scale new heights.   “Hong Kong will make the best use of the advantages of ‘one country, two systems’, capitalise on our business environment that is highly market-oriented, internationalised and underpinned by the rule of law, and proactively serve as dual engines alongside Shenzhen to drive development in the Greater Bay Area under the spirit of complementarity and mutual benefits.”   Major achievements were seen in innovation and technology, financial services, professional services, Qianhai development, education, the medical field, youth development and investment promotion subsequent to the meeting. Steady progress was also made in other areas such as environmental protection, culture and retirement services.   On I&T, the governments signed the Co-operation Arrangement on the Establishment of “One Zone, Two Parks” in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation & Technology Co-operation Zone at the Lok Ma Chau Loop to take forward the co-operation zone's joint development.   Regarding legal services, the Hong Kong SAR Government is dedicated to providing development platforms for Hong Kong legal professionals in bay area cities. It will also continue to promote the Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Exam to the city’s legal sector and arrange in collaboration with Mainland authorities practical training on Mainland laws for those who have passed the exam.   Following today’s meeting, the two governments witnessed both the signing of a memorandum of understanding between eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, as well as the moving-in ceremony of the Greater Bay Area International Arbitration Centre.   Meanwhile, with the central government’s promulgation of the Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform & Opening up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone today, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone’s area will be increased significantly.   The Hong Kong SAR Government will discuss with relevant central ministries to achieve further liberalisation of trade in services of the Qianhai plan through the Mainland & Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.   Additionally, the Qianhai Authority, Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation and the local taxation authority of Qianhai jointly launched the Qianhai e-Services Hong Kong-Macao Station to provide integrated online service for business registration and tax-related matters for free to people in Hong Kong and Macau, further benefitting Hong Kong people and enterprises in Qianhai.   As for education co-operation, the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government and the University of Hong Kong signed a memorandum of understanding to propel the preparatory work for establishing the university’s Shenzhen campus which would promote high-level academic and research activities in the bay area.   Furthermore, the Hong Kong SAR Government encourages local school sponsoring bodies to set up schools offering the Hong Kong curriculum or Hong Kong and international curricula in the bay area.   To show support, Mrs Lam and Mr Wang officiated at the inauguration ceremony of the Shenzhen Hong Kong Pui Kiu College Longhua Xinyi School which offers the Hong Kong curriculum to Hong Kong students.   Looking ahead, Hong Kong and Shenzhen will continue to promote high-level co-operation in different areas and jointly contribute to the bay area’s development and overall development of the country under the spirit of complementarity and mutual benefits.   In addition, the two governments have earlier agreed to set up 19 working groups to expedite Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation on all fronts.   “The 19 working groups will press ahead with their work pragmatically with unsparing efforts. Progress made will be reported to the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting regularly,” noted Mrs Lam.
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