March 22, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong and the southwestern province of Yunnan have enormous potential for economic cooperation in strengthening strategic connections between the Chinese mainland and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Yunnan-Hong Kong Industrial Cooperation Promotion Conference heard on Tuesday.
The one-day conference, held in the special administrative region and organized by the Yunnan provincial authorities, saw the signing of agreements on 11 business projects with total investments of 16 billion yuan ($2.32 billion).
The accords cover new energy, biochemical pharmaceuticals, gas production, textiles and manufacturing. Among the investors are China Merchants Group and China Resources (Holdings) Company.
“Yunnan province is an important corridor and frontier area of China, bordering South and Southeast Asia,” Yunnan province Vice-Governor Wang Hao told the conference.
We welcome Hong Kong enterprises in accelerating the building of modern industries and the development of related businesses in Yunnan … The province and Hong Kong can thus jointly develop the vast Southeast Asian and South Asian markets.
Wang Hao, Vice-Governor of Yunnan province
With the China-Vietnam Corridor, the China-Laos Railway and the China-Myanmar Pacific Ocean Corridor, Yunnan is set to integrate more closely with Indochina, he said.
“Yunnan and Hong Kong can complement their respective niches in resources. We welcome Hong Kong enterprises in accelerating the building of modern industries and the development of related businesses in Yunnan,” Wang said. “This will propel the high-quality opening-up of Yunnan. The province and Hong Kong can thus jointly develop the vast Southeast Asian and South Asian markets.”
Wang said enterprises can depend on Yunnan’s platforms and supportive policies to develop cross-border travel, e-commerce and the logistics sector in the province.
According to data from the Yunnan provincial government, there are 2,300 Hong Kong companies operating in the province at present, and Hong Kong is the largest source of overseas direct investment there.
Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, a Hong Kong member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said the conference provides a vital strategic platform for exploring the potential of external trade and investment cooperation between the HKSAR and Yunnan.
Choi, who also chairs the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the SAR, as a key city in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, can propel the creation of a scientific research platform in the region’s 11-city cluster. “Such a platform will foster the development of advanced manufacturing, the digital economy and strategic industries that will be an important conduit for developing the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.
Wang Qingmei, deputy director of the Yunnan Provincial Investment Promotion Bureau, said Yunnan and Hong Kong can help each other to build up industries like processing and manufacturing, biochemical pharmaceuticals, trade and logistics, as well as in culture, tourism, healthcare and smart city technologies.