Belt and Road Conference 2020

“Greater Bay Area Conference: The way forward for Hong Kong” was held successfully

Co-organized by China Daily, Silk Road Economic Development Research Center and Council for the Promotion of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation, the Greater Bay Area Conference 2020 was held on 18 November in Hong Kong. Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered keynote addresses. Mr.Tan Tieniu, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR also attended the conference.

 

As one of the regions with the highest degree of openness and the strongest economic vitality, the Greater Bay Area plays a significant strategic role in the overall national development. Its huge population, rich land resources, robust economic strength and market size provides great opportunities for professional and value-added services in the area. More active participation in the Greater Bay Area development and faster integration into national development will foster a faster economic recovery for the HKSAR. Under the theme of “GBA: The Way Forward”, the conference focused on how various sectors, including financial services, logistics, professional services and healthcare sector and cities in the bay area can work together to reap the new opportunities.

Guest Of honor pose for a group photo at the GBA conference

Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered a keynote speech at the GBA conference

The Chief Executive of the HKSAR delivered a keynote speech and spoke highly of the annual Greater Bay Area conferences, serving as a platform for people in Hong Kong to see the great potential and the importance of Greater Bay Area development. Lam said that the Greater Bay Area offers abundant development opportunities for Hong Kong and people in Hong Kong should do our best to grasp those opportunities. The Hong Kong Government will continue to support the GBA, covering a wide range of sectors such as finance, aviation, trade, as well as construction services. Lam mentioned that Vice Premier Han Zheng has made extremely positive remarks on the achievements of the GBA in their meeting in Beijing earlier this month.

 

“With the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the global economy and Hong Kong suffering a severe recession, our economic recovery lies in cooperating more fully with the mainland. It underscores the importance for Hong Kong to better integrate into the nation’s overall development. However, to do that we have to first restore normal cross-boundary flow of people”, Lam said. And Lam promised the Hong Kong SAR Government is doing its utmost in fighting the virus. Lam also noted that HK enjoys tremendous advantages in the taxation, legal system and financial services, therefore Hong Kong should continue to offer the GBA these advantages, while working together with other cities in the area to bring bright prospects to the region. And innovation and technology should be our top priority and this calls for cooperating closely with our neighbor, Shenzhen.

Leung Chun-ying delivered a keynote speech at the GBA conference

Leung says in the speech that in the past year, despite the interruptions by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong has been accelerating its integration plans. And proposals for the formulation of the 14th Five-Year plan support the better integration of Hong Kong and Macau into the Country’s overall development, which also highlight the support for Hong Kong and Macau developing into innovation and technology centers. Lam points out that the strategic plan for the Greater Bay Area requires Hong Kong’s preparations, first is research on the cities in the area to better complement one another for facing the challenges. He also encourages all sectors of the society to take prompt actions. Lam added that with all the talent resources, we should facilitate collaboration between mainland scientists and Hong Kong investors to launch and upscale production.  

Joseph Chan speaks at the GBA conference

As Chairman of the Silk Road Economic Development Research Center, Joseph Chan says in his speech that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a global economic tsunami and China was the first to revitalize the economy. Our Chief Executive has been working hard to first of all allowing a normal traffic between Hong Kong and Guangdong. He urged the society to lend an extra helping hand to the SMEs. He also emphasized that Hong Kong will never be replaced, on the contrary, cities in the area complement one another. “Hong Kong needs more doctors, biologists, scientists, healthcare specialist, AI professionals, linguists and many more. The Shenzhen Municipal Government is opening up some of their civil service positions to the talents from Hong Kong. And we should do the same by hiring our peers’ talents to Hong Kong from the 9 cities and perhaps talents from all over the world. This is what makes Hong Kong a truly global city in the Greater Gay Area and the Belt and Road Initiatives.” He added.

Zhou Shuchun delivered an online speech at the GBA conference 

Zhou Shuchun, Standing Committee Member of the CPPCC National Committee, Publisher and Editor-in-chief of China Daily, expressed his gratitude to all the guests who made to the conference under the pandemic. He said that the Greater Bay area has been promised an unprecedented support by the Central Government and that will provide abundant opportunities for the GBA cities. Hong Kong should take a more proactive role for taking forward the development of the Greater Bay Area, Zhou added.

 

The first panel discussion, titled “Reshaping Healthcare Sector amid Covid-19”, was moderated by Dr. Fung Hong, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of CUHK Medical Centre. Five distinguished speakers explored how healthcare sector in different cities can work together to serve the Bay Area. They are: Dr. Ko Wing Man, Former Secretary for Food and Health of HKSAR Government; Prof. Clifford L.K. Pang, President of Clifford Group and Clifford Hospital; Mr. Wilson Tang, Chief Executive of BOC Group Life Assurance Company Limited; Mr. Tse Chun Ming, Chairman of Hong Kong Asia Medical Holdings Co., Limited; and Prof. Anthony Wu Ting Yuk, National Standing Committee Member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

Joseph Chan Nap-kee (left), Chairman of Silk Road Economic Development Research Center with Zhou Li (right), Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Group and Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Asia Pacific, and other speakers at the GBA Conference

Initiated at the Two Sessions, the new infrastructure aims to facilitate innovation and strengthen weak connections in socioeconomic development which involve development of 5G, internet of things, industrial internet, cloud computing, blockchain, data centers, smart computing, and smart transportation. It was predicted that the total direct investment in the new infrastructure will top 10 trillion yuan by 2025, and the total investment in related industries will exceed 17 trillion yuan by the same year. Dr. Winnie Tang, Founder and Honorary President of Smart City Consortium moderated the second panel discussion, themed "Technology Infrastructure: The New Engine of Economic Growth". The session brought together five prominent speakers from technology sector: Prof. Shusong Ba, Managing Director & Chief China Economist of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Ms. Ashley Galina Dudarenok, Founder of ChoZan and Alarice; Mr. Gordon Guo, Deputy Head of Internet & Enterprise Solution, China Mobile Hong Kong Co., Ltd; Mr. Tony Tsang, CEO of DYXnet Group; Ir. Allen Yeung, Former Chief Information Officer, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer of HKSAR Government; and Mr. Max Yuan, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Xiao-i. They had in-depth discussions about how technology infrastructure could drive further economic growth and created a sustainable future, and how technology infrastructure could help us ride out the difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Representatives of Silk Road Economic Development Research Center & China Daily with other speakers at the GBA Conference

With the China-US relations reaching a low point and the revocation of Hong Kong’s preferential economic treatment, questions linger over the SAR’s position as an international financial hub and its key role in the Greater Bay Area. Can Hong Kong retain its role in the Bay Area? How can various sectors work together to reap the new opportunities?

Representatives of Silk Road Economic Development Research Center & China Daily with other speakers at the GBA Conference

The third panel discussion, titled "Will Hong Kong Change Its Role in the Greater Bay Area", was moderated by Prof. Edward Chen Kwan Yiu, Chairman of HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education. Ms. Annie Wu, Honorary Chairman of Beijing Air Catering Co., Ltd delivered a keynote address. Five distinguished speakers talked about how various sectors could work together to reap the new opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. They are: Prof. KC Chan, Chairman of WeLab Bank and Senior Advisor of WeLab; Mr. Steve Chuang, Deputy Chairman of Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Prof. Witman Hung, Principal Liaison Officer for Hong Kong of the Shenzhen Qianhai Authority; Dr. Wang Peng, Assistant to the President of Wuyi University; and Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group.

Joseph Chan Nap-kee (left), Chairman of Silk Road Economic Development Research Center (left) with Zhou Li (right), Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Group and Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Asia Pacific and Ms. Annie Wu (center), Honorary Chairman of Beijing Air Catering Co., Ltd at the GBA Conference