Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and other officials visit an exhibition showcasing the achievements of cooperation as part of the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation Executive Chiefs Joint Meeting held in Nanning, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Friday. [Photo by Yu Jing/China News Service]
The Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation Executive Chiefs Joint Meeting took place on Friday in Nanning, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and other top officials from Macao and elsewhere in attendance.
Officials said the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area alongside the Pan-Pearl River Delta region represents a new platform to strengthen cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.
The Pan-Pearl River Delta is an economic entity made up of two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as eight provinces and an autonomous region - Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the delta region's cooperation and its economy has seen stellar growth. Over the period, the delta region's output value has increased five times to 31.72 trillion yuan ($4.45 trillion) in 2018, accounting for one-third of the country's total.
The blueprint for development of the Greater Bay Area released by the central government in February also said development of the area needs to extend to the delta region.
Lam said Hong Kong played a role in bringing in foreign investment and helping the delta region companies go global over the past decade.
The Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area blueprint also will provide new opportunities for cooperation with delta region provinces, she added.
Using Hong Kong's partnership with Guangxi as an example, Lam expects the two sides to extend exchanges in financial and cultural industries, as well as education and quality control.
She said Hong Kong and Guangxi have co-founded a vocational training program in Nanning. In addition, Lam participated in the opening ceremony on Friday of a Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre branch in the city.
By the end of June, Hong Kong had established 6,928 enterprises in Guangxi with total investment of $27.5 billion, while Macao had set up 349 firms.
In addition, Guangxi received around 1.25 million tourists from Hong Kong and 441,400 visitors from Macao in 2018.
Liu Xiaotao, the joint meeting's secretary-general, said encouraging the delta region to participate in the development of the Greater Bay Area is this year's main task. "First of all, we will further expand cooperation between the provinces and the autonomous region on the mainland and the two SARs in the fields of fundamental infrastructure and professional services."
Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui said governments in the delta region have started to formulate cooperation measures this year in order to integrate with the development of the Greater Bay Area.
Guangdong and Guangxi have jointly released a three-year action plan of speeding up the development of the Pearl River-Xijiang economic zone in order to grasp the opportunities of the Greater Bay Area, Ma said.