Big Bay action now moving into top gear

Planners and officials in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong are gearing up for the launch of the Big Bay area by preparing promotions on opportunities for companies and citizens, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

Amy Nip

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Planners and officials in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong are gearing up for the launch of the Big Bay area by preparing promotions on opportunities for companies and citizens, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

Lam returned to Hong Kong yesterday from Beijing after attending the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Reviewing points from Premier Li Keqiang's address to the NPC, Lam highlighted Dawan - the Big Bay.

The 56,500-square-kilometer bay area takes in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

The governments of the regions have submitted plans for cooperation in the area, and these will be coming up for discussions and approvals.

Next will come promotions so companies and individuals gain insights into opportunities the area will offer in economic and livelihood terms.

On that, Lam said she was excited to hear the premier confirm policies concerning the area will be in play soon.

She also met and exchanged views with the governor of Guangdong, Ma Xingrui, and the province's party secretary, Li Xing.

Cheng Yiu-tong, an NPC deputy from Hong Kong's Federation of Trade Unions, said he wanted the State Council to establish a body to help shape Big Bay.

Among needs, he said, are protections for Hongkongers working on the mainland and heightening their sense of national identity.

Cheng said he would be coordinating with other Hong Kong deputies to push proposals at NPC sessions.

He also suggested the Hong Kong administration create the office of a deputy chief secretary for Belt and Road matters.

But CPPCC member Peter Lam Kin-ngok of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong said there is no need for such a person as there is already a division of responsibilities.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip Tak-kuen is responsible for Big Bay matters in Hong Kong while Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah focuses on Belt and Road issues.