Hong Kong should follow in Hangzhou's footsteps when it comes to information technology development, according to lawmakers in a trip to the Yangtze River Delta.
The delegation of 22 pro-establishment lawmakers attended a seminar on the latest development of regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta in Shanghai before heading to Hangzhou.
In his speech, Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the Yangtze River Delta is one of the fastest growing regions in China's economic development and is renowned for its competitiveness and innovation.
Citing the three-year action plan for the region's integrative development released by the Yangtze River Delta Regional Cooperation Office last year, Leung said this policy aims to enhance regional economic integration with coordination and joint development.
Comparing Hong Kong and Hangzhou, lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, who is the chairwoman of Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting in the Legislative Council, said the SAR has the resources and technology to become a smart city, but local officials are hindering the progress as they have their heads in the clouds.
She said that in order to avoid the impression of government collusion with the business sector, officials have been insisting on transforming Hong Kong into a smart city through open tendering.
However, IT companies are not responding as they fear their intellectual property will be leaked in the process.
Quat said she hopes SAR officials can learn from the bold and responsible style of their mainland counterparts and think outside the box.
Zhou Yajun, the deputy director-general of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government, said he hopes the Greater Bay Area and Yangtze River Delta can learn from each other.
The joint-panel duty trip, which began on Sunday and continues until today, consists of legislators from the panels on Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, Financial Affairs, and Information Technology and Broadcasting.