Effective steps in encouraging the free flow of talent, goods, capital and information will be sped up as the general planning of the Greater Bay Area will be released soon, according to the governor of Guangdong province.
At Monday's special session of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018, Governor Ma Xingrui said the guideline will offer goals and a strong impetus for regional development. "With a solid basis and huge potential, we are fully confident to build it into a world-class bay area," he said.
Guangdong will enhance cooperation with Hong Kong, he said. "We will focus on overcoming obstacles in different systems and mechanisms, and tap the advantages of each."
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said Hong Kong can make important contributions to the Greater Bay Area not only in creativity but also in connections.
"The principle of 'One Country, Two Systems' is itself an innovation and a unique advantage of the Greater Bay Area," Lam told the forum.
Hong Kong can introduce international companies into the Greater Bay Area and assist mainland enterprises in going overseas.
"We will provide the best conditions to facilitate the flow of people, goods, capital and information and to attract talented professionals," she added.
In jointly building the Greater Bay Area into a tourism destination of the world, Macao will tap its potential in tourism administration and training and cooperate with other cities in the area in upgrading tourism services, said Leong Vai Tac, secretary of economy and finance of the Macao SAR.
"Macao will also tap its ties with the EU to promote the Greater Bay Area cooperation in scientific research, talent cultivation and health services related to traditional Chinese medicine," he said.
Antony Leung Kamchung, former financial secretary of Hong Kong and CEO of Nan Fung Group, said: "Time is what the talented people need most.
"If a certificate is introduced in the Greater Bay Area and the latest technology applied, facial identification can be used for speedy customs clearance and greatly save time."
Hong Kong is unique in attracting talents from around the world. Talented people like to gather with other talented people of different styles in different sectors, and Hong Kong can provide such a lifestyle.
Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute, emphasized the potential of free trade in the area. "If only the Greater Bay Area can set up a league of free trade zones," he told the forum.
"In that case, the three experimental zones for free trade in Guangdong can be matched with the two free trade zones of Hong Kong and Macao."