Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng (C), also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, presides over a meeting on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday urged efforts to promote the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while presiding over a meeting in Beijing.
All regions and government departments should conscientiously implement the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, he said.
The plan, an important outline document guiding the current and future cooperation and development of the Greater Bay Area, covers the period from now to 2022 in the immediate term and extends to 2035 in the long term. The plan was issued on Feb. 18.
Efforts should be made to promote cooperation in technology and innovation between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, said Han, adding that a series of measures would be adopted to facilitate customs clearance of personnel and goods in the Greater Bay Area, as well as the exit and entry of samples for scientific research, laboratory reagents and genetic resources.
National laboratories, scientific centers, and key scientific infrastructures should be further opened to universities and research institutes in Hong Kong and Macao, Han said.
He also pledged support to scientists and research institutes in the two special administrative regions to participate in international science programs and projects.
Han said more favorable tax policies would be given to Hong Kong and Macao residents.
Young people in Hong Kong and Macao should be encouraged to work and start businesses in the Greater Bay Area, he said, adding that a batch of innovative and venture bases should be established for them.
The government will provide grants and subsidies for young people from Hong Kong and Macao who start businesses in Guangdong, and will also select and fund a batch of promising startup projects, he added.
The bay area consists of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region, as well as nine cities in Guangdong Province -- Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.
Covering 56,000 square kilometers, the bay area had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017 and its GDP reached around 10 trillion yuan in 2017.