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He Ningka: Pilot policy should be given in free trade zones
By Guo Yiming
China.org.cn,  
2017/03/08
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梧桐树鸟瞰

On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang proposed in a government work report that China promotes closer cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. China will draw up a plan for the development of a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, give full play to the distinctive strengths of Hong Kong and Macao and elevate their positions and roles in China's economic development and opening up. Currently, the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Area is on the agenda.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area contains nine cities in the Pearl River Delta and two special administrative regions including Hong Kong and Macao. It can be divided into three areas: the city cluster including Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou and Hongkong; the city cluster including Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhaoqing; the city cluster including Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Macao.

He Ningka, an NPC deputy and Director of Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, believes that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is at the forefront of reform and opening up as well as the important engine of economic growth.

In order to speed up the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Area, he suggests that China should give this area more power in reform and more policies to support its development.

According to He Ningka, he has called for more pilot policies for this area. For instance, he proposed that Guangdong Free Trade Zone accept higher standards in international investment and trade rules, further relax restrictions on market entry, simplify the administrative approval process and boost the expansion of bilateral investment between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. For example, he proposed that pilot policies on capital account convertibility, RMB cross-border use,and foreign exchange management reform could be tested in the Guangdong Free Trade Zone, and promoted firstly in Great Bay Area when it is allowed.

The Guangdong Free Trade Zone was officially launched on April 21, 2015. By the end of April, 2016, the number of new enterprises in Guangdong Free Trade Zone has grown to 56,000. The amount of the absorption of foreign capital is 186.5 billion yuan (US$27 billion), accounting for 51 percent of the total adsorption of foreign capital in Guangdong.

Meanwhile, He Ningka suggests that the boosting of cooperative development and orderly competition in financial sectors in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao area, cultivating new cooperation platform, expanding the bilateral link between the mainland and the financial markets in Hong Kong and Macao, building a financial hub and covering the southeast Asia and serving the One Belt One Road Initiative.

"The construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is now on the agenda. Under the standard of International first-rate bay area and world-class city cluster, Guangdong will build this area become the highland of global innovation, the global renowned living area, the global civilization exchange highland and the pilot area of deepening national reform,” said He Ningka.