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Monday, April 15, 2019, 23:44
Hunan eyes deeper trade ties with Bay Area
By Dai Kaiyi
Monday, April 15, 2019, 23:44 By Dai Kaiyi

Hunan -- a landlocked southern province on the Chinese mainland -- is high on the list of investors in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with deals for up to 183 projects worth about 310 billion yuan (US$46.2 billion) expected to be sealed at the 2019 Hunan-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area conference this week.

The three-day conference kicked off in Hong Kong on Monday with agreements on 32 projects worth 170 billion yuan signed.

The signing ceremony was attended by officials from the central government and Hunan, including Tan Tieniu, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Du Jiahao, secretary of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial People’s Congress; as well as representatives of 95 enterprises from the Bay Area, the United States, Europe and Japan.

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With increased location leverage, quality investment opportunities and an improved business environment, enterprises see a brighter future in Hunan, where the economic aggregates had climbed to the eighth spot nationwide last year, according to Du.

Hong Kong, as a global financial, trading and transportation hub, is an essential bridge for Hunan to penetrate overseas markets, he said, adding he hopes the SAR could further support Hunan’s development by helping the province to invest abroad and attract foreign capital.

Jonathan Choi Koon-shum – president of the Hong Kong-based Chinese General Chamber of Commerce – said Hunan has been an important channel for industry transfers and would certainly be a frontier for the Bay Area’s business radiation.

With Hunan’s sheer business volume and an industry setup that complements that of the Bay Area, the province is capable of undertaking industry transfers from its adjacent city-cluster powerhouse, and could fill in the extension of both upstream and downstream collaboration of the Bay Area’s industry chain, Choi said.

Furthermore, with the Bay Area set to be a vital region for supporting the Belt and Road Initiative, Hunan should join hands with Hong Kong and utilize the SAR’s sprawling overseas business network, and import advanced technology, management experiences and cutting-edge talents from abroad, said Choi.

Hong Kong, as the largest offshore renminbi center, has abundant liquidity and low-cost funds, and has been a perfect intermediary for connecting domestic enterprises with overseas markets, especially those along the BRI route, according to Wang Bing, vice-president of Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK).

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With a diversified product system, mature operation experience, BOCHK could help Hunan enterprises set up investment and funding platforms in Hong Kong, as well as treasury centers and overseas fund management centers, he said.

The lender also plans to leverage its enormous out-of-bound client resources, with customized financial service plans, to link them with advanced industries in Hunan, thus strengthening their edges in the province, said Wang.

The conference will discuss a wide range of issues, covering human resources, intelligent manufacturing, offshore financing and cultural tourism.


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