Entrepreneurs and young people from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao aspire to reopen borders to better integrate into the Great Bay region

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Visitors stand in front of a large screen that shows the changes in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Services Industry Cooperation Zone to Shenzhen before 2010 and 2021, November 28, 2021. Photo: Liu Caiyu / Global Times

As the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region (HKSAR) are expected to resume their non-quarantine journeys soon, entrepreneurs and young people in southern China’s Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao said they all yearn for the border to be reopened to better integrate into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay region.

“Shortly after the unveiling of the Great Bay region in 2019, the COVID-19 epidemic swept through China and the world, to be honest I didn’t have a chance to taste the integration from the Great Bay region, “Wei Bo, the founder of Laipic, a Shenzhen-based internet company specializing in the production of animated videos, told the Global Times.

“If the border reopens, I would like to organize my recruiting business in Hong Kong so that more young people from Hong Kong can come and live in Shenzhen and work in companies like ours. Coming to Shenzhen means a wider platform to see and grow, ”Wei said.

Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR are expected to resume travel without a quarantine by the media as early as next month, with the city essentially fulfilling the requirements and entering the implementation phase of the orderly reopening of the border with mainland, Hong Kong officials recently said. . But experts said the border resumption plan could be affected as Omicron, a new variant of the highly mutated coronavirus that is causing global concern, has arrived in Hong Kong.

The closure of the border between the mainland and Hong Kong SAR is a blow to Hong Kong’s economy and has caused many inconveniences in work, life and education. Many young people in Hong Kong are realizing that the size of the Hong Kong market is not enough to sustain Hong Kong’s development and that exchanges between the two sides are essential, Sisley Cheng, Deputy Speaker of the House of Hong Kong trade in Qianhai and also responsible for the Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base in Qianhai, told the Global Times.

She said that many young people in Hong Kong are ready to come to the mainland for innovation and entrepreneurship. Affected by the epidemic, some registered businesses are unable to come to the continent, they now only have a few basic online activities.

“Entrepreneurs on both sides are hoping for a full recovery of borders. Resumption of quarantine-free travel should prioritize a group of people in emergency situations and businessmen from chambers of commerce and large corporations with plans in the two places which can contribute more effectively to the economies of the two places, ”noted Cheng.

Wei’s company, Laipic, is just one of 148,300 companies registered in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Services Industry Cooperation Zone in Shenzhen. Established in 2010, the area has been hailed as a “special zone” within the “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone”, which aims to attract businesses, intellectuals and investors from Hong Kong to better serve the region’s development. the Grande Baie.

Among the registered companies, 13,200 are Hong Kong-owned companies, with registered capital of 1.3,200 billion yuan ($ 206 billion).

To better help young people in Hong Kong and Macao integrate into the development of the Great Bay region, especially in Qianhai in the post-epidemic era, Hou Jing, an official from the Qianhai management office in Shenzhen, said the area is working to create an entrepreneurial spirit. , communication platforms and providing financial support and the opportunity to attract people from the SAR to work in the area.

Since 2019, the area has distributed more than 90 million yuan in seven bundles of special youth support funds in Hong Kong and Macao, benefiting about 289 businesses and 855 people in the region.

The benefits and support from the authorities in Qianhai, Laipic, where Wei works, has gone from zero to a market value of 400 million yuan in five years and only takes a year to go from 400 million yuan to 13 billion yuan. yuan.

Forty of the 260 employees at Laipic headquarters are young people from Hong Kong and Macao, a sixth of the total. In 2020 recruitment figures, more than 800 Hong Kong designer candidates competed for the 30 positions at Laipic.

A high-tech zone in Zhuhai, a city next to Macau, has also attracted a flood of entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macau, as it is an important hub for promoting the development of the Great Bay region. The area, named Hong Kong and Macao Science and Technology Achievement Transformation Base, was established in March 2019. For approved innovation and entrepreneurship projects in Hong Kong and Macao, only 1 yuan is charged for the area. rental within a radius of 200 square meters for at least three years.

The Global Times learned from the base’s management office that it had attracted nearly 40 high-growth Hong Kong / Macao furniture companies, cultivated a unicorn seed business and three high-tech companies.

In addition to the “one yuan rent”, the efficiency and convenience brought by the continuous integration of the industrial chain innovation chain in the Greater Bay Area have also benefited young companies in Hong Kong and from Macau.

Zhou Cong, Kuiku Technology project manager Photo: Cao Siqi / GT

Zhou Cong, project manager of Silicool Technology Ltd. Photo: Cao Siqi / Global Times

Zhou Cong, project manager at Silicool Technology Ltd., a camera autofocus equipment manufacturer and supplier to Huawei, had been working and living in Hong Kong for seven years. He felt a big difference after starting his business in Zhuhai.

“We mainly develop and manufacture advanced cameras and semiconductor assembly equipment. Often there is equipment for mechanical processing. If it’s in Hong Kong, it might take a week or even a month. However, Zhuhai is close to Zhongshan and Shenzhen, and there are many manufacturing factories. It’s efficient, the designs can be sent in the morning and the equipment can be obtained in the afternoon, ”Zhou said.

As one of the young people who have benefited from one of the key measures of Shenzhen companies to recruit young people from Hong Kong and Macau, Cathy, 27, working for the human resources department of Laipic, said that it would be a trend for more minds. SARs to settle on the mainland, especially for entrepreneurs who want to set up businesses and work in Shenzhen.

Like anyone who leaves their hometown, the biggest concern of young people in Hong Kong who want to work on the mainland is to get away from their parents and home, Cathy said.

The “Social Security Talent Housing” offered by the local government and designed to provide low-cost residential housing for talent from other cities is a relief to some concerns of young people who decide to start a new life in a new one. city. Cathy told the Global Times that she only paid 10,000 yuan a month for one-bedroom “social security housing for talents” in Shenzhen.

The Global Times visit to Shenzhen and Zhuhai is part of the thematic activity “Sharing the same heart with Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao; Joining hands with the Great Bay region ”organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

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