Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that an outline development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will be formally announced by the central authorities within days.
The Greater Bay Area refers to the area along the southern coast of Guangdong encompassing eleven cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhaoqing, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Macau and Hong Kong.
A symposium will be held next Thursday in Hong Kong on the plan, Lam said ahead of Tuesday’s weekly Executive Council meeting. Officials from Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as top officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, will also attend.
“The benefits of the Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong and also to Guangdong and Macau are multiple, because we are all very committed to building a bay area economy which is open, which is international, which will consist of an international innovation and technology hub, which has the personal support of President Xi Jinping himself,” Lam said.
Lam said the important thing of the plan will be cooperation between the eleven cities.
“Anything that is just fierce competition should be avoided as far as possible,” she said.
Lam also said that the outline plan will not be very detailed.
“It will not be like our policy address where there were hundreds of policy points to be implemented immediately. Many of the items will be general directions,” she said. “But, as the direction is set, the governments of the three areas – under the coordination of central authorities – will outline what kind of innovative systems are required, and what policy help will be needed from the central government.”
In response to doubts over ambitions for the Greater Bay Area, Lam said it would not harm the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
“The success of the Greater Bay Area depends upon ‘One Country, Two Systems,’ with the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions,” she said.
Lam added that some initiatives to assist Hongkongers with living and working in the Greater Bay Area were already announced last year.
Last year, she joined a leading group for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as headed by Vice Premier Han Zheng. Lam became the first Hong Kong chief executive to join a central government-level committee.