The cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong, especially Hong Kong’s integration into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), is a hot topic at this year’s national “two sessions.” This is prompted by the frequent communication between the mainland and Hong Kong after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
A fortnight ago, top officials from Shenzhen and Hong Kong held joint meetings to exchange views on strengthening bilateral cooperation in higher education, finance, tourism, the development of Hong Kong’s Northern Metropolis, scientific and technological innovation, and intellectual property rights. On Feb. 23, a package of 30 financial measures supporting the industrial cooperation between Hong Kong and Qianhai was rolled out.
These initiatives have delivered “good vibes” to returning overseas merchants and investors, as well as expat talents who want to stay and grow with the GBA, according to Gianluca Giorgi, CEO of Shenzhen ES Automation Consulting Ltd. and director of the Italian Innovation & Technology Working Group in China.
“I’m quite confident that the Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments already know that now is the moment to start again and to work hard. They already act to bring this big high-tech flow back again as in the past and even more [intense],” said Giorgi.
“[As everything is back on track], the technologies innovated in Hong Kong and Shenzhen will be delivered all around the GBA. The collaboration in the GBA cities coordinated by Hong Kong and Shenzhen high-tech parks will be a key point to the success of their development.”
Giorgi also said that the new opportunities illustrated on official websites give him some idea of companies’ business direction and encourage investors to be involved in the projects.
Giorgi emphasized the importance of increasing collaboration and establishing technical tables focused on specific topics and possibilities to let investors understand the benefits of investing in the GBA. “Local government knows very well the scope of a project, but they are not necessarily familiar with (for instance) the European industries’ requirements,” he said.
To Giorgi, the key to resuming capital and talent flow is to rebuild mutual trust.
“We are opening a new factory in Bao’an District, and we will also open an R&D center in Qianhai. We do this because I trust QS Group Italy, a big Italian group for high-tech plants for home appliances, and I trust the Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments, as well as people here. I believe it is a good investment and our Chinese and Asian customers will benefit from our choice,” he said.
“Shenzhen is a vibrant hub of high-tech innovation, drawing upon a diverse range of knowledge from both local and global sources. This diversity fosters a culture of knowledge exchange, driving the development and dissemination of cutting-edge technologies.”
Giorgi, as a board member of the European Chamber South China Chapter, arrived in Hong Kong in 2005 and has been supporting industrial projects between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
In 2008, he moved to Shenzhen and is now living in an area near Huaqiangbei. He said his team supported European companies with Hong Kong design offices to manufacture in Bao’an and Longgang districts, as well as the city of Dongguan.
They also developed several production lines in Zhongshan and Jiangmen, where they were able to engage in direct shipping by utilizing Hong Kong speed vessels.