Beijing-HK economic ties get boost at symposium
Updated: 2013-10-25 23:34
By LYU CHANG (China Daily)
The 17th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium was held on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing. Investment from Hong Kong reached $3.1 billion in the first nine months, accounting for 40.7 percent of Beijing’s utilized overseas direct investment. Cheng Gong / for China Daily
Working together will yield prosperity for both cities: Officials
Beijing-Hong Kong ties will be strengthened this year with a pledge by planners from both cities to boost their common prosperity.
"A closer relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong is part of Beijing's strategic plan to accelerate economic development," said Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun at the 17th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium held on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing.
In order to work smoothly with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Beijing will simplify its project approval process, cutting wait times by more than half, from 300 to 109 working days, Wang said at the symposium's opening ceremonies.
And with air pollution being a top issue in Beijing amid a newly issued five-year action plan, Wang said that the city will give major support to environmental protection, bringing in advanced technologies from Hong Kong in such sectors as pollution control and wastewater/sewage treatment.
Over the past decade, progress has been made in terms of economic cooperation between Beijing and Hong Kong, the mayor noted.
Investment from Hong Kong reached $3.1 billion in the first nine months of 2013, accounting for 40.7 percent of Beijing's utilized overseas direct investment.
By September, Hong Kong investors had established 12,468 companies in Beijing, with actual investment of $27.83 billion, official data said.
Hong Kong also is the top overseas investment destination for Beijing-based companies.
In the first nine months of the year, Beijing's direct investment in Hong Kong reached $742 million, up by 572.24 percent year-on-year.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said cooperation between the two cities has gone beyond only economic aspects.
"We have already expanded the cooperation into other fields, such as social livelihood of the people," Leung said.
During the two-day symposium, 370 investment projects in Beijing, covering finance, trade, cultural and creative industries, innovative technology, logistics and tourism, were promoted, according to the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau.
One major sector for closer cooperation is in the cultural and creative industries, where four projects worth 175 million yuan ($28.5 million) were promoted. Through these projects, Beijing and Hong Kong will cooperate on creative cultural zones as well as digital films.
Eric C. Yim, chairman of the Hong Kong Furniture and Decoration Trade Association Ltd, said a large number of designers and furniture manufacturers from Hong Kong have set up studios and boutique stores in the bustling Beijing area of Sanlitun, attracted by the purchasing power of the city's residents,
"In big international cities like Beijing, people have very good taste in choosing furniture, and they want unique design," Yim said.
"That is why we are here: to create a unique style of furniture for them."