Regional collaboration key to maintaining HK’s economic position

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​The Governance in Asia Research Centre (GARC) of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) hosted two conferences on “Guangdong-Hong Kong Interfaces and Collaborations” on 25 and 26 May, with a view to enhancing capabilities and knowledge transfer in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau.
In his opening remarks on 25 May, Professor Gregory Raupp, Vice-President (Research and Technology) of CityU, highlighted the importance of three key words: collaboration, value and impact, adding that without collaboration, it would not be possible to make great things a reality.
“As Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong encounter problems common to them all, due to their geographical proximity, the objective of the forum is to bring people together, table their resources and intellectual ideas, identify commonalities, overcome difficulties and collaborate in the way forward,” Professor Raupp said.
The Director of GARC, Professor Martin Painter, echoed these remarks, adding that collaboration will help all three places sustain their position and survive challenges, particularly in times of change. 
Prominent speakers representing major stakeholder groups of the three places were invited to share their thoughts before engaging the over 60-strong audience in a discussion. The focus of the first-day conference was “Achieving Mutual Gains in Hong Kong-Macau-Guangdong Collaboration: Qianhai, Hengqin and Beyond”. Speakers delved into four major areas of potential collaboration from both a government and academic perspective – law and legal services, financial services and logistics, social services, and innovative technology and creative industries. Opportunities were identified, and issues and challenges were reviewed and discussed.
While recognising Hong Kong’s core competencies and excellence in public administration, regulatory and institutional framework, and financial and service industries, speakers and participants acknowledged the changing and weakening of Hong Kong’s economic position within China as other cities on the mainland develop. Hong Kong’s future lies in its integration into the regional economic circle of Guangdong.

The forum also featured a discussion on the cooperation between Macau and Guangdong in developing the Hengqin New Zone from the perspective of institutional and policy innovation, in addition to an exchange of views on the prospects and challenges of cross-border collaboration.
The second-day conference, on “Administrative Reform in Guangdong: Shunde and Beyond”, focused on the transformation of a municipality from a large number of government departments and agencies to a “mega-ministry” administration, and explored politics in transitional societies using Shunde as an example. The obvious benefits of such reform rest in streamlining personnel and facilitating decision-making, but the pitfalls and challenges associated with it have to be addressed too.
The two conferences were part of GARC’s Knowledge Transfer Project on Capacity-Building for Hong Kong-Shenzhen Collaboration. GARC is dedicated to innovative, cutting-edge research and comparative analysis of issues and dilemmas related to governance in Asia. Its current research themes are Environmental Governance in Asia, Responsible Government in Asia, and Health Policy.


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