HONG KONG, Nov. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hong Kong, as a super connector and a super value-adder, is well poised to play a crucial role in furthering cooperation between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, both of which are among the world’s most economically vibrant regions, prominent political and business leaders said on Wednesday at the Greater Bay Area Conference 2023.

This year’s conference, co-hosted by China Daily and Hong Kong Coalition, was themed “When GBA Meets ASEAN — One Heart and One Mind “to explore the emerging opportunities in the two regions. It comprised three panel discussions focusing on green finance, the integration of green technology in daily life, and the preservation of art and culture for sustainable tourism.

The hybrid conference, with online and offline participation, brought more than 400 distinguished guests, including government officials, industry and business leaders, academics and representatives of various sectors.

In a keynote address, Leung Chunying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is competitive in many aspects, and cities in Guangdong province and the ASEAN member states stand to benefit greatly by leveraging the SAR’s pivotal role as a super-connector.

HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that Hong Kong’s strengths make the city not only a “super connector” but also a “super value-adder” for the Belt and Road regions, including ASEAN.

Lee added that Hong Kong can facilitate people-to-people exchanges, promote green finance and financial technology initiatives, and foster cooperation in public services between the Greater Bay and ASEAN.

When the Greater Bay meets ASEAN with one heart and one mind, they can surely forge a promising future for their people and economies, he said.

Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Group, said that through the successful implementation of numerous collaborative projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, the ASEAN member states have witnessed remarkable progress in terms of infrastructure development and social well-being.

The Greater Bay Area is a vital part of China’s modernization journey, and deepening ASEAN’s involvement in the area will help build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, Qu said.

Jane Lee Ching-yee, deputy secretary-general of Hong Kong Coalition, said that in order to ensure the continuous success of the China-ASEAN partnership, it is crucial for Hong Kong, as a reputable super connector, to effectively link the Greater Bay with ASEAN, generating substantial benefits for both regions.

Li Yongsheng, acting commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said that with the strong support of the motherland and a close connection with the world, Hong Kong can play at least four roles — a facilitator of trade and investment, a promoter of regional connectivity, the spearhead of innovative cooperation and a contributor to people-to-people bonds — in strengthening cooperation between the Greater Bay, or even the whole of China, and ASEAN.

Hou Yanqi, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN, said that China-ASEAN cooperation has become the most shining example of the success and robustness of regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

Pak Sokhom, secretary of state of Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, said the GBA conference provides a golden platform for participants to expand strategic tourism partnerships, and is of utmost importance in stimulating tourism growth.