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Hong Kong and Alibaba’s home province Zhejiang to cooperate on dozens of projects with billions in new investment

Release Time:2023-06-29 11:04Source:InternetBy:Khongtu ReviewRead:

The governments of the two regions signed multiple agreements on Monday promising cooperation in areas including finance, education, aviation and new energy
The signings, which included agreements with Macau, were part of the 2023 Hong Kong & Macau-Zhejiang Week

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee speaks during the opening ceremony of Hong Kong & Macau-Zhejiang Week on June 26, 2023. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong and mainland China’s eastern Zhejiang province are joining hands to cooperate in a slew of areas including finance, aviation, culture and tourism, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said at a signing ceremony on Monday.
“Hong Kong and Zhejiang will further expand the scope for development and deepen cooperation on all fronts together through strengthened, high-level collaboration and exchanges,” said Lee, who witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation agreements and a number of memorandums of understanding between Hong Kong and Zhejiang, at a forum held at the Kerry Hotel in Hung Hom.
The signings were part of the 2023 Hong Kong & Macau-Zhejiang Week, which kicked off on Monday and runs until Friday.
The agreements include cooperation in 12 key areas, including financial technology innovation, economy and trade, and aviation, Lee said. The Hong Kong government will further deepen its cooperation with Zhejiang and help drive high-quality development in both cities, he added.

Among the agreements are those for 77 projects with the Hong Kong and Macau governments – with investment funds valued at US$8 billion in total – 52 of which cover new energy, healthcare and manufacturing high-end equipment, according to the forum. The memorandums cover another six projects for sports development, educational cooperation and the construction of data centres to help boost Zhejiang’s economy.
Yi Lianhong, secretary of the Zhejiang Chinese Communist Party Provincial Committee, was also at the event, which he helped organise, on Monday.
“Hong Kong is the international hub of shipping, trade, and finance,” said Yi, who is also chairman of the standing committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress. “We’re willing to join hands with Hong Kong to exchange talent and capital resources … to better serve Hong Kong’s needs.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee (right) meets with the Secretary of the Zhejiang Chinese Communist Party Provincial Committee Yi Lianhong on June 26. Photo: Handout

The collaboration with Zhejiang underscores how Hong Kong’s economic role has extended beyond the Greater Bay Area in southern China, which includes Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province.
“Many Zhejiang enterprises have already been listed in Hong Kong in recent years, raising high-quality capital from international investors and entering into the global market successfully via the city,” said Peter Lam, chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. “[We are] willing to provide support and services for all mainland enterprises, including Zhejiang enterprises, to invest in Hong Kong and expand to overseas markets via the city.”
Zhejiang has developed a strong digital economy over the past two decades in part because of the presence of Alibaba Group Holding – owner of the South China Morning Post – which is based in the provincial capital of Hangzhou. The province’s digital economy reached 3.6 trillion yuan (US$501.2 billion) in 2021, accounting for 48.6 per cent of its gross domestic product, according to official government data released last year.

President Xi Jinping was the Zhejiang provincial party secretary from 2002 to 2007, when he had first-hand experience dealing with the province’s private enterprises.
Hong Kong and Zhejiang already had close ties prior to this week. “Hong Kong has long been the largest source of foreign direct investment in Zhejiang province,” Lee said at the forum. In 2021, Hong Kong investors poured US$28 billion into the Zhejiang economy across 1,089 projects, according to official data.
Lee also said Hong Kong is the preferred location for Zhejiang firms to “go global”. There is a very active Zhejiang business community in Hong Kong. The late shipping magnate Pao Yue-kong and cinema mogul Run Run Shaw were both from Ningbo, Zhejiang. They made their fortunes in Hong Kong and died in the city in 1991 and 2014, respectively.

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