Ningbo seeks closer ties with HK
The 2017 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum, a platform for dialogue and cooperation between the two cities, takes place in Hong Kong on Sept 27. [Photo by Wang Peng]
The 2017 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum was launched in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Sept 27.
Held under the theme of "deepening cooperation", the forum is designed to open a new chapter in relations between two of the most important ports and economic hubs in East China and South China respectively.
Deals for 25 cooperation projects were signed by representatives of the two cities on the first day of the forum, covering fields including insurance, new energy vehicles and health.
An official from the Ningbo government said that Hong Kong is one of the city's closest partners is playing a vital role in boosting Ningbo's development.
Ningbo has been given an important task by China's central government to spearhead the Belt and Road Initiative and the Made in China 2025 strategy, which provides additional opportunities for bilateral exchanges and cooperation with Hong Kong, the official added.
Winsome Chan, senior manager of international and mainland relations at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), stated that she was confident about the future of Ningbo-Hong Kong relations.
Hong Kong is an international center for trade, logistics and shipping, while Ningbo is a modern port city facilitating China's opening-up, so there is great potential for further cooperation between the two cities, according to Chan.
At this year's forum, the two sides reached consensuses on deepening cooperation in various sectors, especially in insurance and education, with many delegates expressing their determination to learn from each other and to work together.
Five financial agencies in Hong Kong signed contracts with the Ningbo government to set up branches in the city, China's only pilot zone for insurance industry reforms.
To attract Hong Kong students to study or attend shorter placements in Ningbo, Ningbo education bureau released a new scholarship policy, providing scholarships for students at all levels.
"The two cities will share educational resources and jointly cultivate high-caliber professionals," said Zhu Da, Party secretary of the working committee of Ningbo education bureau.
The Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum was established in 2002. Over the past 16 years, the two sides have broadened cooperation areas from the economy to education, culture and technology.
As of the end of June 2017, 6,575 companies in Ningbo have been funded by Hong Kong capital and Ningbo has set up 598 companies and institutions in the special administrative region, 10 of which have gone public.