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SZ's Qianhai moves to attract more startups from SAR

2018-March-20       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

Qianhai will provide more space to promote innovation and entrepreneurship to get more young people from Hong Kong to set up business in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation zone, according to the chief liaison officer for Qianhai's Hong Kong affairs.

Qianhai will provide more space to promote innovation and entrepreneurship to get more young people from Hong Kong to set up business in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation zone, according to the chief liaison officer for Qianhai's Hong Kong affairs.

The second phase of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub, or E Hub, is expected to go into operation later this year, said Witman Hung Wai-man, managing director of Qianhai International Liaison Services.

The exact size of the new area has not been revealed, but Hung said it will be much larger than the current scale - a construction area of 27,000 square meters.

Hung, who is also a Hong Kong deputy to the country's top legislature, the National People's Congress, spoke to China Daily in an interview on the sidelines of the annual two sessions in Beijing.

"We will clear up some space used as offices right now and turn it into a place for innovators and entrepreneurs," he said.

"The new area will be located near the existing E Hub and serve those startups which have already entered the stage of acceleration and require larger space and more human resources for development."

The E Hub has served more than 200 entrepreneurial teams since its official opening in December 2014, including more than 110 from Hong Kong.

"In the beginning, we expected Hong Kong teams to take up 30 percent or so. But, in reality, the proportion is much higher than that - 50 percent roughly," said Hung.

Some of the Hong Kong enterprises have already made achievements and secured funding. For example, a startup aimed at creating an e-commerce platform for imported snack food had raised 50 million yuan ($7.9 million) within a year since its inception.

A cooperation zone between Shenzhen and the SAR for developing the modern service industry, Qianhai is not only a place for young Hong Kong people to realize their business dreams, but also a platform for Hong Kong enterprises to access the vast mainland market.

The number of Hong Kong enterprises registered in Qianhai has grown from more than 300 in March 2014 to more than 7,000 at present. Well-known names like Chow Tai Fook, Hang Seng Bank and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing have set up shop there.

As a key base for Shenzhen-Hong Kong economic cooperation, Qianhai could also play an active role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hung said.

The country's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, has said it will "move forward with opening up and developing Qianhai, Nansha in Guangzhou and Hengqin in Zhuhai, and see that they fulfill their roles as the three major platforms for piloting and leading development in the Greater Bay Area".

With the upcoming launch of the development plan for the bay area, a number of measures aimed at promoting the flow of people, goods, capital and information across the boundary are expected to be introduced, Hung noted.

"We hope Qianhai could become a pilot zone for adopting those measures."

Editor: Sylvia Xu

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