Published: 20:30, January 26, 2024 | Updated: 20:31, January 26, 2024
Openness to fuel growth of HK Park in Hetao tech zone
By Wu Kunling in Hong Kong

Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Leung Chun-ying (fifth left), Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong (fifth right), and other guests pose for a group photo during the "Seminar on the Role of Hetao Hong Kong Park in the Sci-Tech Innovation of GBA" in Hong Kong on Jan 26, 2024. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Park in the Hetao Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone should be open to the world, fully leverage the advantages of a free port and closely cooperate with the Shenzhen Park so as to attract global talents and capital, experts and scholars told a seminar on Friday.

The development of innovative technology is a crucial driving force for Hong Kong's future socio-economic progress, Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said at a seminar on the role of the park.

The former Hong Kong chief executive called for the city to seize the development opportunity of the Hetao cooperation zone, and actively promote cooperation between the two parks within the zone — Hong Kong Park and Shenzhen Park.

Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Leung Chun-ying speaks during the "Seminar on the Role of Hetao Hong Kong Park in the Sci-Tech Innovation of GBA" in Hong Kong on Jan 26, 2024. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

At the same event, Sun Dong, Hong Kong's secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, emphasized that the Hong Kong Park should be globally oriented  technology park, and should collaborate with the development of the city’s Northern Metropolis, especially the San Tin Technopole, which is located at the heart of the metropolis.

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Sun expressed his hope that the Hong Kong Park and the San Tin Technopole would become a key base for the city’s innovation and technology development in the north, driving the development of the northern part of Hong Kong similar to Cyberport in the south and the Science Park in the central region.

He also emphasized the need for the park to strengthen its competitiveness. Noting that business costs in the Hong Kong Park are higher compared to the Shenzhen Park, Sun pointed out that Hong Kong features international advantages and institutional advantages under “one country, two systems”. The Hong Kong Park should further enhance its strengths in attracting international talent and capital, he said.

Zhang Yuge, senior research fellow and director of Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Regional Development in China Development Institute, mentioned the need to promote the development of emerging local industries in the park.

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He suggested establishing joint laboratories for Shenzhen and Hong Kong parks. While Shenzhen integrates into the domestic innovation industry chain, Hong Kong should actively integrate into the international innovation industry chain. At the same time, the Hong Kong Park should strive to integrate research with manufacturing to accelerate the commercialization of Hong Kong’s leading research outcomes.

Hong Kong's Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong speaks during the "Seminar on the Role of Hetao Hong Kong Park in the Sci-Tech Innovation of GBA" in Hong Kong on Jan 26, 2024. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Given Hong Kong’s institutional advantages combined with the opportunities brought by the enormous Chinese mainland market, he said he believes that Hong Kong Park can attract top international talents.

Director of Automation Technology Center of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Li Zexiang said he believes that to achieve the Hong Kong Park’s goal to promote development in the innovation and technology industry, the city must work harder on nurturing talents, especially product managers and entrepreneurs.

He also recommended universities in Shenzhen and Hong Kong to use the parks as platforms to train students, arranging for them to actively engage in projects in the cooperation zone.

The Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone is one of the four major platforms of cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as indicated in the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan.

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The zone is located on the banks of the Shenzhen River and consists of a park of about 300 hectares on the Shenzhen side, and another park of 87 hectares on the Hong Kong side.