Last Tuesday (7 September), the Development Bureau (DEVB) held with the Bureau of Territorial and Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province (DNRGP) and the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Guangdong Province (DHURDGP) a conference for Hong Kong’s architectural, surveying, planning, landscape (ASPL) and engineering sectors to brief participants on a number of preferential policies and liberalisation measures to facilitate the starting of businesses and practising in the nine Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), Qianhai and Hengqin by relevant enterprises and professionals. Over 100 representatives from relevant local professional institutions, associations and registration boards as well as enterprises participated in the conference.
Simultaneously held in Beijing, Guangdong and Hong Kong
Principal Assistant Secretary (Works) of the DEVB, Mr. HO Ying-kit, Tony, said to participants that the conference was held simultaneously in Beijing, Guangdong and Hong Kong. The Deputy Director-General of the Bureau of Territorial and Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ms MEN Xiaoying, together with the Chief Engineer of the DNRGP, Mr ZHU Guoming elaborated on the policy documents of “Matters Concerning the Record Filing of Hong Kong and Macao Registered Urban Planning Professionals to Practise in Guangdong Province” implemented in February this year, and “Management for Registration of Hong Kong and Macao Planning Professional Enterprises Starting Businesses in Guangdong Province” launched on the first day of this month. The new measures further expand the coverage of the registration measures in the GBA to enable Hong Kong’s planning professionals to directly provide services in Guangdong province, including the nine Mainland cities of the GBA, by obtaining equivalent qualifications in the Mainland through a simple registration system.
Regarding the other four professional sectors relevant to the DEVB, i.e. architectural, engineering, surveying, and landscape sectors, the registration system implemented in January this year also allows enterprises and professionals to start businesses and practise in the GBA. So far, 45 enterprises and 189 professionals have completed registration. At the conference, the Deputy Director-General of the DHURDGP, Mr CAI Ying, briefed participants on the implementation of and the development opportunities brought by the preferential policies for Hong Kong in the engineering construction sector in Guangdong.
Preferential measures for Hong Kong implemented in Qianhai and Hengqin
Similar facilitation measures have also been implemented in Qianhai, Shenzhen and Hengqin, Zhuhai since October 2020 and December 2019 respectively, which enable qualified construction and engineering enterprises and professionals from Hong Kong to participate in the building and development of the two free trade zones by obtaining equivalent qualifications in the Mainland through registration. So far, a total of 51 enterprises and 331 professionals have completed registration. At the conference, the Deputy Director-General of the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen city, Mr XIE Huihui, and the Deputy Director-General of the Administrative Committee of Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai city, Ms ZHENG Huixian also briefed participants on the preferential policies for Hong Kong, the starting of businesses and practising by Hong Kong’s enterprises and professionals, as well as the development opportunities available in their respective cities.
Promoting integration into the overall development of the country
The National 14th Five-Year Plan supports the strategy of high-quality development of the GBA, and the DEVB has been actively promoting the enhanced integration of Hong Kong’s construction and engineering sectors into the country’s overall development along this direction. The launch of a number of preferential measures for Hong Kong has reaffirmed the achievement of the long-term collaboration between Guangdong and Hong Kong, and reflected the support and recognition of the Central Authorities for Hong Kong. The Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr TAN Tieniu also said at the conference that all things done by the Central Authorities are only aimed for Hong Kong’s good, for upholding and fostering the fundamental well-being of Hong Kong people, for achieving the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, as well as for ensuring the steadfast and successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. Mr TAN said that without a nation, there will be no home; with a great nation, homes will prosper.
Big doors are open, and small doors are open too
Mr TSE Wai-chuen, Tony, Legislative Council (LegCo) Member from the ASPL functional constituency, said after the conference that the DEVB has all along supported and encouraged the industry to take part in the GBA’s development. In the past, there was an issue called "big doors are open, but small doors are not yet open" under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA); but now, big doors are open, and small doors are open too. He said the conference provided a platform for the industry to share successful cases as well as difficulties encountered. Any questions or suggestions regarding the relevant procedures could also be raised freely at the conference, allowing an exchange of ideas.
Looking forward to win-win cooperation between the industries in Hong Kong and their Mainland counterparts
According to Dr LO Wai-kwok, LegCo Member representing the engineering functional constituency, apart from the DEVB’s constant effort, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the nine Mainland cities in the GBA have also introduced various measures under the national policies, to facilitate Hong Kong’s enterprises and practitioners in relevant professions to look for business opportunities in the GBA. Under the relevant national policies, Hong Kong’s enterprises and professionals are allowed to integrate into the domestic and international dual circulation with maximum facilitation. He said that representatives of the Mainland authorities were apparently well-prepared for the conference, offering a lot of valuable information. He looks forward to the concerted effort of the industry in Hong Kong to achieve complementary development with their Mainland counterparts for a win-win situation.
New measures regarded as version 2.0
According to Mr Thomas LEE, President of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, the new measures promulgated by the Central Authorities recently can be regarded as version 2.0 of the measures implemented in Qianhai last year. This time, the measures will be imposed across the entire Guangdong province, with a significantly larger coverage. The industry is very pleased to see the implementation of policies on planners concerning both individuals and enterprises. Moreover, registration is increasingly convenient and easy, with online application available and all it takes is to fill in one form with relevant information.
The conference facilitates communication
Mr Joe LUI, Chair of Board of Mainland Affairs of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, said the Central Authorities has been furthering the policies for relevant industries to participate in GBA projects. Measures taken by different GBA cities tend to vary slightly, so the industry expresses concern about details in matters such as contracts, taxation and laws. This conference has greatly facilitated communication. As mentioned by Mr Stephen MAK, Vice Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong, the conference has helped answer queries and ease concern of the industry about issues such as laws and taxation. He hopes that more conferences will be held to enable the industry to better understand how to take part in the GBA’s development.
I believe successful implementation of the various preferential measures for Hong Kong can serve as a demonstration for all provinces and municipalities in the country, so that the policies can be further extended across the country, providing more development opportunities to relevant enterprises and professionals from Hong Kong. The DEVB will continue to liaise with relevant Mainland authorities to explore more suitable measures to pilot in the nine GBA cities. I also encourage Hong Kong’s enterprises and professionals to seize the opportunity and participate actively in the GBA development, playing a part in turning the GBA into an international Bay Area.
Election Committee Subsector Elections
Moreover, I would like to mention in passing that the Election Committee (EC) Subsector Ordinary Elections will be held next Sunday (19 September). Of the three subsectors relevant to the DEVB, candidates in Engineering as well as Real Estate and Construction have returned uncontested, while those in Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape will compete for the seats. With the implementation of the improved electoral system and reconstitution of the EC vested with new functions, the overall interests of the sectors and Hong Kong society will be well represented, thereby strengthening the executive-led political system and enhancing the governance efficacy of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, allowing us to focus on promoting the development of society, people’s livelihood as well as the economy. I appeal to all qualified voters to vote in the election next Sunday.
12 September, 2021Back