On 29-30 July, the 2023 ASEAN-China Greater Bay Area (GBA) Economic Cooperation (Qianhai) Forum was successfully held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, under the sponsorship of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen, the ASEAN-Greater Bay Area Research Institute of Shenzhen University, and the Guangdong High-Tech Industry Chamber. H.E. Secretary General Shi Zhongjun of the ACC attended and addressed the Forum.
Secretary General Shi stated, in his opening ceremony remarks, that cooperation on digital economy and science and technology innovation represents an important part of ASEAN-China practical cooperation. The GBA is one of the most dynamic and open regions in China. Relying on the advanced economic achievements of GBA, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone attracts world-renowned enterprises of finance, e-economy, trade, high technology and logistics service. The accumulation of high-quality industries reserves abundant resources which lay a solid foundation for high-level economic cooperation with ASEAN Member States (AMS). The GBA can combine the advanced manufacturing, strategic emerging industries and digital economy industries with high-end industries in Hong Kong, Macau, and AMS, take core enterprises in the industrial chain as the leaders, optimize the supporting environment and conditions, and assist enterprises from both AMS and GBA to enter each other’s market. Both sides can achieve coordinated development of the industrial chain through the joint development of core technology and high-tech projects.
Other dignitaries who addressed the opening ceremony include H.E. Minister Chang Lih Kang of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia, H.E. Ambassador Pehin Dato Rahmani of Brunei to China, H.E. Ambassador Arthayudh Srisamoot of Thailand to China, H.E. Deputy Minister Nurul Ichwan for Investment Promotion of Indonesia, H.E. Deputy Minister Nyunt Aung of Commerce of Myanmar, and the Honorable Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo of Trade and Industry of the Philippines. The speakers focused on topics related to the development of digital economy and technology innovation in their own countries and shared their insights into closer cooperation and coordinated development with GBA.
The two-day Forum gathered more than 500 participants to the opening ceremony as well as parallel forums or sessions which include Regional Cooperation Forum, Industrial Cooperation Forum, Think Tank Cooperation Forum, Presidential Forum of Chambers of Commerce, and ASEAN-China GBA Industry Matchmaking Session. Government officials, diplomats, business communities, think tanks and entrepreneurs from AMS and China had in-depth exchanges and discussions on the forum-themed areas, shared their practices and experience and build consensus on promoting cooperation and development between AMS and GBA. The AMS diplomats and local government officials also had a chance to promote their trade and investment policies and cooperation opportunities.
The events achieved fruitful results. The AMS and GBA business entities signed cooperation documents with total amount of 12.1 billion RMB yuan. The ASEAN-China GBA International Chamber of Commerce Alliance and the ASEAN-China Think Tank Cooperation Partnership were officially launched. The Forum also proposed and declared the ASEAN-China Greater Bay Area Economic Cooperation Initiative.
During his stay in Shenzhen, Secretary General Shi also paid visit to Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone and Tencent Group with the AMS diplomats and representatives of ASEAN business associations and enterprises. Secretary General Shi also gave press opportunities to both Chinese and foreign media.