Regional Cooperation with the Mainland

Introduction

Since its return to China, Hong Kong has been expanding its areas of cooperation with the Mainland and striving to escalate the level of joint efforts. In the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 (“National 14th Five-Year Plan”) promulgated in March 2021, its contents relating to Hong Kong incorporated many concrete proposals put up by the HKSAR Government after thorough studies, demonstrating the Central Government’s unwavering support for Hong Kong. The National 14th Five-Year Plan establishes a clear positioning for Hong Kong’s future development as embodied in three major aspects: First, it is mentioned to uphold the “one country, two systems” principle as well as safeguard national security in order to maintain the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong; Second, it is mentioned to support Hong Kong in reinforcing and enhancing its competitive advantages, including the continued support for Hong Kong to maintain its status in the “four traditional centres”, namely international financial, transportation and trade centres as well as centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, and raised for the first time the support for Hong Kong to enhance, establish and develop the “four emerging centres”, namely an international aviation hub, an international innovation and technology centre, a regional intellectual property trading hub and an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange; Third, it is mentioned to support Hong Kong in better integrating into the overall development of the country, emphasising the support for building a high-quality Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The National 14th Five-Year Plan confirms Hong Kong’s functions and positioning in the overall development strategy of the country, provide a clear direction and expand the scope for Hong Kong’s further co-operation with the Mainland.

By strengthening cooperation with the Mainland, Hong Kong can leverage its unique advantages in our country's development strategy and help facilitate coordinated economic development in the Mainland, and contribute to national reform and development. At the same time, Hong Kong's economic structure can be perfected and upgraded and our understanding of the national development deepened.

We are working towards complementary development and win-win collaboration with our Mainland partners by focusing on areas of regional cooperation with regard to their respective resources and competitiveness.

So far, we have built the following cooperation platforms:

(1)  Hong Kong/Guangdong Cooperation Joint Conference and related issues;
(2)  Hong Kong/Shenzhen Cooperation Meeting and related issues;
(3)  Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum;
(4)  Hong Kong/Shanghai Cooperation Conference;
(5)  Hong Kong/Beijing Cooperation Conference;
(6)  Hong Kong/Macao Cooperation High Level Meeting and related issues;
(7)  Hong Kong/Fujian Cooperation Conference;
(8)  Hong Kong/Sichuan Cooperation Conference; and
(9)  Hong Kong/Hubei Cooperation Conference.

The resultant cooperation is multi-facet, covering cross-boundary cooperation, facilitation of the flow of personnel and goods, promotion of trade and commerce, environmental protection, food safety, information technology, city construction, tourism cooperation, cultural exchanges, sports promotion and training of rehabilitation personnel.

Looking ahead, under the "One Country, Two system" principle, the HKSAR Government will continue to capitalise on Hong Kong's unique role in the national development strategy with a view to enhancing closer and mutually beneficial regional cooperation with the Mainland and assisting in achieving coordinated regional development.