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Guangdong FTZ attracts young minds

  • By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou |
  • China Daily |
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2021
About 42,600 companies were added to China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone from January to November in 2019. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

After graduating from the City University of Hong Kong and working for several companies in Chinese mainland cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Frank Chan started his own business in Qianhai, Shenzhen, in 2019.

"Shenzhen's strength in cultural and technological innovation is very attractive," said Chan, who is involved in the design and creation of cartoon and animation characters.

Chan's FC Studio is located in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurs Hub, a platform that seeks to encourage more young people from Hong Kong and Macao to start their businesses in the Qianhai area, part of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The studio, one of the 50 key innovative projects supported by the Hong Kong government, will focus on integration of new media and technologies, according to Chan.

A total of 693 young people from Hong Kong and Macao started their own businesses in 2020 in the Guangdong FTZ, which covers Nansha of Guangzhou, Hengqin of Zhuhai and Qianhai-Shekou of Shenzhen, according to the general affairs office of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Additionally, the Guangdong FTZ has introduced a series of measures to encourage more companies from Hong Kong and Macao to start businesses in Guangdong by integrating business rules and systems between Guangdong and the two special administrative regions.

"Financial institutes fully owned by Hong Kong and Macao investors and a series of cross-border services in payment and settlement, housing mortgage and medical insurance have been launched in the Guangdong FTZ," said Zhang Jinsong, director of the general affairs office of the Guangdong FTZ.

A total of 2,944 companies from Hong Kong and Macao invested in the Guangdong FTZ, while 589 tourist guides gained eligibility to provide services last year, according to official data. Guangdong has also strengthened cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao in education, according to Zhang.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) will finish its first-phase construction in March next year and is scheduled to start operations by September next year, according to university sources.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology signed agreements with the Guangzhou government and Guangzhou University in late 2018 to establish the Guangzhou campus, marking an important milestone in the Hong Kong university's expansion in the Chinese mainland.

The Hong Kong university's campus in Guangzhou, located in the Nansha area of the Guangdong FTZ, will help steer frontier development of the university in education, science and technology, business and management as well as facilitate knowledge transfers, combining with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which is gaining traction in innovation, said Zhang.

In addition to strengthened cooperation with neighboring Hong Kong and Macao, the Guangdong FTZ has made great achievements in improving the overall business environment, investment and free trade and financial innovation, Zhang said during a media briefing on Friday in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

Imports and exports from the Guangdong FTZ grew by 4.1 percent to 341.28 billion yuan ($52.52 billion) last year, with actual use of foreign investment estimated at $7.94 billion.

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