Qianhai zone to be expanded to boost cooperation

Beijing said a special economic zone in Shenzhen, created to boost cooperation with Hong Kong, will see its size increase severalfolds as part of a plan to foster closer business and technological ties between the two places.

In an announcement, the State Council said the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone will grow from around 15 square kilometers to over 120 square kilometres.

Officials said they hope to attract universities from Hong Kong, Macau and overseas to set up branches there, adding that financial companies will be allowed to provide cross-border securities investment services in the area.

“The new blueprint was formulated to help Qianhai better play an exemplary and leading role in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” the plan wrote.

“By 2035, Qianhai will boast world class business environment, and become an engine for high-quality development with strong capability in global resource allocation, breeding innovation and leading coordinated development,” it added.

In a statement, Chief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed the State Council’s announcement, saying the community should seize the opportunities brought about by the latest development blueprint.

“More than 40 years of Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation under the national policy of reform and opening up has created a unique tale of the two cities, which fully demonstrates our complementary and win-win relationship that leverages Hong Kong’s advantages in serving the country’s needs,” she said.

“The promulgation of the Qianhai Plan will foster Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation at a higher level under which the two cities can serve as ‘dual engines’ to drive development in the Greater Bay Area.”