New Bay Area policies to help HK rejuvenate
Updated: 2019-11-08 07:40
After meeting with President Xi Jinping on Monday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor went on to attend the third plenary meeting of the Leading Group of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on Wednesday in Beijing, where she met with Vice-Premier Han Zheng, the top State leader in charge of Hong Kong affairs.
Both Xi and Han reiterated the unwavering support of the central authorities as well as 1.4 billion mainland compatriots for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The single most important message from Lam’s meetings with the country’s top leaders is this: The HKSAR must quickly stop violence and restore order so that it can refocus on socioeconomic development.
At the third Bay Area Leading Group meeting in Beijing, presided over by Han, a series of favorable measures were added to make it easier for Hong Kong and Macao residents to live, work and study on the mainland, especially in the Bay Area. The 16 newly unveiled preferential policies, or measures, will greatly facilitate personnel exchanges between Hong Kong and Guangdong as well as the development of the Bay Area to the benefit of both sides.
The new policy affording equal rights to Hong Kong residents to buy property in the nine Guangdong partner cities provides a way to ease the housing problems of Hong Kong’s young people caused by the city’s skyrocketing home prices. The policy allowing Hong Kong professionals in the legal, construction and insurance sectors to practice on the mainland or to develop their businesses there will bring huge opportunities for Hong Kong professionals, who are facing increasingly fiercer competition in the local market.
These policies, as well as those facilitating cross-boundary travel and offering residence status for people holding a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, will help attract talent from around the world, giving a big boost to the city cluster’s effort to create an international science and innovation hub.
It can be said that the Bay Area will be a home away from home for Hong Kong residents, and young college graduates in particular, to explore career opportunities there. With the accommodating policies and administrative measures already in place or in the pipeline, Hong Kong residents should seize the opportunities arising from Bay Area development and build a better future for themselves. Of course, Hong Kong must first restore peace and law and order by ending all forms of violence in the streets and cyberspace.
There is no doubt the central government and mainland compatriots are fully committed to supporting the SAR government in exercising law-based governance. The question is, how determined is Hong Kong society to prevail over all adversities, beginning with the ongoing “black revolution”? Right now, Hong Kong’s best bet is the Bay Area development. Let’s end the chaos now and start rebuilding to take advantage of the new opportunities.
(HK Edition 11/08/2019 page12)