The Guangdong Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) aggregates 11 metropoles, including two special administrative regions, into a vast comprehensive world-facing economy.
The GBA is set to promote Hong Kong's integration into Mainland China’s national development by accelerating the socio-economic integration of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao.
Hong Kong has been designated as an international financial, shipping, trade and aviation hub, a global offshore renminbi business hub and an international centre for asset management and risk management. As a value‑added financial, trading, logistics and professional services centre, supporting technology and innovation, Hong Kong is also a centre for international legal and dispute resolution in Asia-Pacific.
Navigating the GBA
To engage members of the international business community in Hong Kong who need up-to-date business information on the GBA, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) joined with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development Office to organise the inaugural GoGBA Day on 22 September. The hybrid on-site/online business support event was held physically at the HKTDC SME Centre at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, while the online version attracted global attention.
The half-day event featured a series of seminars offering practical business tips and updates on the latest developments in the GBA to prepare international enterprises to “go GBA” via Hong Kong. The event received an overwhelming response with more than 160 participants attending the seminars at the venue while 260 participants joined the online webinar. At the same time, 47 companies at the venue had 65 business advisory sessions and one-on-one consultation meetings to facilitate business partnerships and opportunities.
The joint seminars welcomed officials from GBA authorities along with industry leaders and market experts from banking and other sectors, to share insights and business know-how with international medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, helping equip them to set up business and succeed in the GBA using Hong Kong as a platform. A wide range of topics was discussed, including the GBA business landscape and key incentives and subsidies for start-ups and businesses in the areas of tax, banking and investment.
Welcoming participants to the inaugural event, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “The GBA plan attracts attention not only because the GBA has China’s highest GDP at US$1.96 trillion but it offers basically everything a business needs to grow, from the international financial hub of Hong Kong and the world-class manufacturing centres across Guangdong, to the advanced innovation and tech clusters across the region – not to mention a huge market of 86 million people and a stepping stone to the vast Mainland China market.”
Ms Fong continued: “We launched our GoGBA support programme last year to help businesses navigate the GBA through Hong Kong by offering information, advisory support and networking and marketing platforms. The GoGBA Day is a highlight of our programme, bringing together the Hong Kong family of organisations under one roof to introduce their GBA support programmes and services, enabling us to hold a GBA event specifically for the international business community for the first time. We hope to give them not only an overview of the latest GBA developments, but also offer practical information to help them make decisions and take action.”
Tommy Yuen, Commissioner for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, said: “The GBA is more than a key national development strategy under China’s reform and opening up. It is also marks a further step towards enriching One Country, Two Systems and promoting coordinated economic development that can turn the region into a world-class area for living, working and travelling. New measures are continually being implemented, including steps to encourage the development of private equity and venture capital funds in Qianhai and improving land boundary crossing facilities to enhance talent mobility between Hong Kong and GBA cities. In the coming decade, the GBA is set to become the world’s most vibrant and rapidly growing economic region.”
Jimmy Chiang, Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion (Business Development) of Invest Hong Kong, said: “President Xi Jinping has emphasised the importance of leveraging and strengthening Hong Kong's unique advantages as an international financial, shipping and trading centre, as well as its convenient links to international markets. The 14th Five-Year Plan also highlighted the country’s support for Hong Kong in traditional industries as well as four emerging areas, including aviation, innovation and technology, intellectual property trading and international cultural exchange. These specific sectors will see more development opportunities in Hong Kong, and the GBA's growth will create many attractive opportunities for international companies.”
Kenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise, Europe, Hong Kong Tourism Board, said: “The Hong Kong Tourism Board has developed a tourism recovery framework to aid in the recovery, reopening and rebranding of Hong Kong’s tourism industry. We devised a number of publicity and promotion campaigns to maintain Hong Kong’s visibility during the pandemic and to facilitate tourism as well as MICE recovery. This includes bringing back large-scale international events and establishing a dedicated team to provide MICE organisers with one-stop support. Hong Kong can connect international visitors to the GBA’s tremendous business opportunities, generate attendance for organisers, facilitate professional visits and excursions to other GBA cities.”
Raymond Yip, Chief Liaison Officer of the Guangzhou Nansha Service Centre in Hong Kong, said: “The Central Government hopes that Nansha, with its strategic location at the heart of 10 GBA cities, will become a cooperation and collaboration hub for the GBA. Nansha has a broad and diverse industry base with advanced manufacturing, as well as a state-level science and technology forum. With no fewer than 20 policy measures for Hong Kong and Macao, including allowing people from Hong Kong, including foreigners, to pay Hong Kong taxes, Nansha is set to open up a larger hinterland for Hong Kong.”
Witman Hung, Principal Liaison Officer for the Hong Kong, Shenzhen Qianhai Authority, said: “Qianhai has always been a pilot zone to help Mainland China open up and deepen its reforms. Promoting and facilitating collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is high on our priority list. For example, we have incubated 335 Hong Kong start-ups and assisted the city’s professionals such as lawyers, engineers and architects in entering the mainland market. Recently, the Qianhai Authority and the Hong Kong government announced 18 new measures aimed at encouraging venture capital and private equity to enter China via Qianhai and Hong Kong. Hong Kong-based companies will be able to use Qianhai as a shopfront to provide professional services to the rest of the GBA and Mainland China.”
Vivian Cheung, Executive Director, Airport Operations, Hong Kong International Airport, said: “We have been expanding the capacity and functionality of Hong Kong International Airport in preparation for the resumption of international travel and business. The SKYCITY development is at the heart of this, featuring a new 3.8 million square foot complex, with recreational facilities and three new office towers. New hotels will also be built and we are revamping services to provide better travel and transit experiences for passengers. Furthermore, we are transforming AsiaWorld-Expo into a 20,000-seat arena, adding new passenger and cargo handling facilities and constructing new infrastructure to make it easier for Hong Kong to connect with the GBA.”
Over the years, the HKTDC has worked hard to facilitate cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong. To support companies in doing business in the GBA, the HKTDC shares useful official information on regulations, procedures and networks through its GoGBA website and WeChat mini-programme, the latter also offering tools such as public health updates, maps, transport guides and a day counter for individual income tax purposes. As of the middle of September, more than 506,700 views of the HKTDC’s GoGBA digital platforms had been recorded.
On the ground, the HKTDC has established the HKTDC GBA Service Centre in Shenzhen to provide local and international enterprises from Hong Kong with consultation services, industry-related updates and business matching. The Service Centre has so far organised more than 70 activities, with about 3,000 Hong Kong enterprises using its services. Working together with mainland partners, the HKTDC has also set up GoGBA Business Support Centres in Qianhai (Shenzhen), Nansha (Guangzhou), Hengqin (Zhuhai), Dongguan and Zhongshan, with Foshan being added later this year, to provide Hong Kong enterprises with policy and market consultation services.
In addition, the HKTDC’s Transformation Sandbox (T-box) programme will extend its services from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and other cities in the GBA. Together with its Digital Academy and E-Tailing Academy, the HKTDC will provide advisory workshops related to e-commerce and digital business as well as marketing solutions and other digital platforms. The HKTDC’s T-Box transformation programme offers a wide range of resources to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The GBA presents enormous opportunities for businesses from Hong Kong and around the world and the HKTDC will continue to devote efforts to support local and international enterprises in the city, helping them seize business opportunities in the GBA and other mainland markets through its network of 13 offices in the mainland. It also plans to organise the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Week this year, including the annual SmartHK and Chic HK flagship events in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, along with a series of roadshows related to financial management, legal services, infrastructure development and real estate, as well as participating in key trade fairs in the mainland.
HKTDC SME Centre
HKTDC GBA Centre
Tel: (852) 1830 668
Fax: (852) 3693 4938
Address: Ground Level, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Address: Unit 2405-06, Jindi Centre, Shennan Road 2007, Futian District, Shenzhen