Shenzhen-Hong Kong technology cooperation project paves the way for business opportunities
It has been four years since Ho Yiu-wai, a young man from Hong Kong, founded his start-up in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Cooperation Zone at Lok Ma Chau Interchange in the border area between the two cities.
For Ho, Shenzhen, a city in neighboring Guangdong province, is where research can be turned into commercial products in the shortest possible time. The technology company he founded has already secured four rounds of funding and its first product is already on the market.
The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Cooperation Zone is located on the border of Shenzhen’s Futian District and Hong Kong, and consists of Shenzhen Park on the north side of the Shenzhen River and Hong Kong Park on the south side.
The construction of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park is progressing in full swing. This largest technology and innovation park in Hong Kong is expected to be completed in phases between 2024 and 2027.
Meanwhile, Shenzhen Park has prepared 600,000 square meters of research space, attracting many young people from Hong Kong with the same dream of innovation and entrepreneurship as Ho to move in.
When Lau Kai-hoi returned home after studying abroad, he decided to develop his career in Shenzhen. From a trading company employee to the founder of a cross-border e-commerce platform, his “first pot of gold” came from the flow of goods between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Now, Lau runs a business incubator in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone to help more young people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan realize their dreams on the mainland.
“When I was a child, I often came to Shenzhen with my family. I witnessed the process of industrial upgrading in Shenzhen and could see great changes and opportunities,” he said.
Taking advantage of sister cities
From Zhou Shengfu, CEO of ride-hailing platform Lalamova, to Wang Wei, founder and chairman of SF Express, successful business tycoons taking advantage of the resources of Shenzhen and Hong Kong are inspiring more Hong Kongers to live as a twin city and dream of success.
Data from the Shenzhen Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security shows that by the end of 2021, more than 37,000 Hong Kong residents had participated in Shenzhen employee pension plans, a 204 percent increase from the end of 2018.
Shenzhen has introduced a number of measures to facilitate the development of Hong Kong residents in the city. Hong Kong doctor Fan King-man, who has been working at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital for nine years, has received a certificate of higher professional rank on the mainland, thanks to the convenient measures of professional practice.
“Recognition of my senior title should be attributed to a smooth qualification in training between the two places. It is more convenient for Hong Kong doctors like me to run a clinic in Shenzhen, and there is more room for development,” Fan said.
Shenzhen has also made efforts to promote a greatly facilitated practice system for foreign professionals by easing restrictions on their participation in national professional qualification examinations and clarifying policies on the practice of foreign professionals in various fields. Civil service positions in the city are also open to young people from Hong Kong and Macau.
Hong Kong is also stepping up efforts to strengthen cooperation within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). In early 2021, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced the GBA Youth Employment Program through which about 700 young people from Hong Kong went to work in Shenzhen.
Behind the growing cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong is a love for compatriots and a sense of belonging.
The ports of entry in Shenzhen are an important channel for overland supplies transported to Hong Kong. To support Hong Kong’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, Shenzhen is ensuring the salvation of cross-border transport by optimizing cross-border land transport modes and opening cross-border shipping and rail channels.
During the resurgence of COVID-19 in Shenzhen in February, Ho worked as a volunteer, working at a nucleic acid testing site in the city.
“I feel at home in Shenzhen and will do my part and move forward together with the city,” he said.