Vice-Premier Han Zheng said that implementing the newly released blueprint for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will require a lot of down-to-earth work.
Han, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, made the remark on Friday while chairing the second plenary meeting of the leading group for the development of the Greater Bay Area, the nation"s top decision-making unit for the national strategy.
Development must be focused on bringing benefits to the people of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, Han said.
After the meeting in Beijing, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, announced eight policy breakthroughs to improve the connectivity of talent, trade and information across the 11-city cluster.
One of the most eye-catching policies is an income tax break for qualified Hong Kong and Macao professionals working in the Greater Bay Area. Currently a preferential policy only exists in the Qianhai Pilot Free Trade Zone in Shenzhen and in the Hengqin Pilot Free Trade Zone in Zhuhai.
A Hong Kong resident will get subsidies for the extra income tax paid on the mainland, Lam said. Currently, the top-tier income tax on the mainland is more than twice that of Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, universities in Hong Kong and Macao will be allowed to participate in scientific research projects in Guangdong province, and receive provincial subsidies equally. Subsidies are currently available only to mainland researchers.
In addition, young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao can receive subsidies, training and funding, in certain incubators on the mainland, at the same level that Guangdong provides to their local counterparts, Lam said.
Measures to simplify customs arrangements in the flow of cargo between Hong Kong and Guangdong will be unveiled soon, Lam said, adding that many more policies are in the making.
The historical conditions of the area－which Han said includes the most dynamic institutional systems in China－have evolved to the point that they offer a prime opportunity for deepening the country"s reform and opening-up, he said, adding that fresh experiences will be offered to the nation.
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