The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is going to facilitate innovation in China. Source: Shutterstock

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is going to facilitate innovation in China. Source: Shutterstock

China to join forces with HK and Macau for tech innovations

INNOVATION is a race for China.

As a result of the strain that the trade war with the US has put on the country’s relations with some of its leading technology partners such as Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, 2018 ended on a concerning note for the country.

However, it seems as though the country has recalibrated its plan and plans to leverage its relationship with Hong Kong and Macau put innovation back on the top of the agenda.

According to local news, China’s Guangdong province will team up with Hong Kong and Macau this year on building joint laboratories to study cutting-edge technologies needed by local industries.

Of course, the announcement is aligned with the launch of the “Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge” (Zhuhai is a city in Guangdong), and not only builds a stronger commercial use case for the bridge but also helps mobilize talent from the region for tech innovation projects.

The three locations together are often called the “Greater Bay Area” and China is keen on developing it into a hub for technological projects — especially among Chinese companies.

Aside from creating joint-labs and facilitation centers in the region, the government is working on a “co-location plan” that place immigration and customs checks away from the border in a bid to ease traffic and ensure smoother processing.

“Arrangements for co-location immigration and customs checks, one-off checks through the collaboration of authorities from both sides, as well as one-stop checking services, will be implemented on a wider scope,” said Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui.

“We will jointly develop a technology and innovation corridor connecting Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau, and build a batch of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau joint labs to study technologies that are cutting edge and commonly needed for industries.”

Ma also pointed out that the development of the Bay Area into a technology and innovation hub can provide an “opportunity of historic significance” and protection against domestic complexities and external shocks that are slowing down the growth of the region.

Although several co-operation arrangements and research funding agreements have been signed between China and Hong Kong in the past, the new Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau co-operation arrangement will create quite a strong collaborative force between businesses and government agencies in the three regions.