Dongguan Central Business District has launched its global investment attraction program. At the Investment Attraction Conference held on October 22 last year, Greater Bay Area Foreign Investment Co., Ltd. signed a contract with the Dongguan Municipal Government to build a “Hong Kong Center” in Dongguan Central Business District, which will serve as a base for Hong Kong's service industry to settle in Dongguan.
Dongguan City Association of Enterprise with Foreign Investment is the investor for Greater Bay Area Foreign Investment Co., Ltd. The association's president, Lian Hansen, told reporters that according to the plan, RMB 4 billion will be invested in the "Hong Kong Center" which covers an area of 145,000 square meters on the ground and three modern buildings will be built. "Hong Kong Center" will become a one-stop base for Hong Kong talents in the Greater Bay Area.
Attract Hong Kong Service Industry to Settle in Dongguan
After the project was signed, Lian Hansen has been busy pushing the construction to begin as soon as possible. Lian Hansen told the reporter that as Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was built, Hong Kong's service industry, especially the productive service industry, has great prospects. The cooperation between Dongguan and Hong Kong in the service industry is increasingly important. He hoped that the "Hong Kong Center" in Dongguan could attract Hong Kong's service industry to settle in Dongguan and grab the huge market in the Greater Bay Area and even the whole country.
At the "Conference on the Upgrading and Transformation of Hong Kong Enterprises in Dongguan" held in Hong Kong in November 2019, how to deepen the cooperation between Dongguan and Hong Kong in the service industry became the focus of discussion among the attendants. Stephen Liang, Assistant Executive Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said at the conference that the establishment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would help Dongguan establish a science and technology center and achieve its own transformation using the high-tech brought by Hong Kong enterprises. He also said that Hong Kong could bring modern service industries to Dongguan and bring the products "Made in Dongguan" to overseas markets.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, told reporters that Dongguan's strength is advanced manufacturing industry and Hong Kong's strength lies in its developed service industry. The cooperation between Dongguan and Hong Kong in the service industry, especially the productive service industry, can combine both advantages and accelerate the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Dongguan Manufacturing Industry and Hong Kong Service Industry are Closely Linked
As a line in an ancient Chinese poem goes: the ducks will be the first to know when the spring river turns warm. In Dongguan, a group of forward-looking people have already seen the opportunities.
One noon in September, Deng Wenjun, a Hong Kong resident born in the 1980s, took the high-speed rail bound for Hong Kong after work. It only took him an hour from the conference room in Dongguan Songshan Lake Chuanglong Smart Technology (Dongguan) Co., Ltd., to his own home in Hong Kong.
Like Deng Wenjun, there are many more young people rushing between Hong Kong and Dongguan. They came to Dongguan with projects to start their own businesses; they are full of passion and confidence since they are backed by the policies and funding from Dongguan government. The data shows that since the opening of the Hong Kong and Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base in Songshan Lake, Dongguan, in June 2019, 50 projects have been launched by Hong Kong and Macao youth entrepreneurs and the project agglomeration effect has initially emerged.
In 2012, Lei Baowen, who was awarded the title of "Top Ten Outstanding Designers in Hong Kong", was invited to visit factories in Dongguan. After knowing about the situation of Dongguan's manufacturing industry, the idea of building an international creative design center in Dongguan immediately emerged in his mind. By now, Lei Baowen has successfully created an international brand image for a furniture factory in Houjie, helping the factory expand overseas market.
In addition to many Hong Kong businessmen in the service industry who came to Dongguan for development, Hong Kong businessmen in the manufacturing industry in Dongguan are also trying to transform into the service industry. Longchang Toys is a good example. After Liang Yuwei finished his overseas study and returned to China in 2010, he began to transform Longchang Group, the traditional toy company established by his father, to a company developing educational robots and commercial real estate. His father Liang Lin was among the first group of Hong Kong businessmen who came to Dongguan to invest and build factories not long after the implementation of reform and opening up policy.
Dongguan Deli Watch Group, which has been engaged in watch manufacturing for more than 30 years, has joined the service industry too. Chairman Liang Weihao told reporters that Deli Watches is building the first international watch culture industrial park in Dongguan. They would introduce Swiss watch designers to settle in Dongguan after the industrial park is built. In addition, Deli Watches has cooperated with Dongguan University of Technology to build Deli Watches College to cultivate watchmaking talents.
Liang Weihao told reporters that Deli Watches has one service provider in Hong Kong and one in Guangzhou to provide accounting and legal services. Service provider hired in Guangzhou is familiar with the legal requirements and standards in Chinese Mainland, while service provider in Hong Kong is better at providing accounting and legal services in accordance with international rules, so he often travels between Dongguan and Hong Kong to handle similar businesses. If Hong Kong's service industry can be attracted to settle in Dongguan, one service provider will do, which can save enterprises a lot of costs.
Welcome Hong Kong's Service Industry with Higher Enthusiasm
At present, Dongguan, which is making every effort to build itself into an advanced manufacturing center in the Greater Bay Area, has 178,000 industrial enterprises and over 10,000 above-scale industrial enterprises, ranking the first in Guangdong Province. With the continuous upgrading of the manufacturing industry, Dongguan's demand for modern service industries such as finance, technology, and law is getting stronger.
What Dongguan needs is exactly what Hong Kong excels at. In Hong Kong, the service industry's contribution to GDP has exceeded 90%. It has unique advantages in many areas such as technological innovation, finance, and shipping.
In recent years, the cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong in the service industry has become increasingly frequent. Data shows that in 2018, Dongguan received 42 study groups totaling 3,308 person-visits from Hong Kong, and made 34 business trips totaling 254 person-visits to Hong Kong, jointly promoting the exchanges and cooperation between Dongguan and Hong Kong in economy, trade, education, accounting, finance, medicines, environmental protection, legal services, and etc.
Dongguan will welcome Hong Kong's service industry with even higher enthusiasm and efficient service. The Dongguan-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Matchmaking Exchange Conference under the theme of "Metropolis in the Greater Bay Area, Quality Dongguan" held in Hong Kong last May proposed that Dongguan should introduce Hong Kong's productive service industry to help it build an advanced manufacturing center. Dongguan actively implements the innovation-driven development strategy, which requires the participation of Hong Kong's talents in science and technology and scientific research resources. Dongguan's opening up and participation in the "Belt and Road" initiative need to take advantage of Hong Kong’s resources too. If Dongguan is to fully improve its quality, it needs to draw upon Hong Kong's advanced urban planning and construction management experience.