Accelerate market integration and release the second batch of rule linkage mechanism docking cases in the Greater Bay Area

The Greater Bay Area has announced the second batch of “Typical Cases of Guangdong Province Promoting the Connection Mechanism of Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area Rules”, in response to the demand for cross-border flow of elements and the strengthening of cross-border cooperation in multiple fields such as finance. In the future, we plan to improve the overall coordination mechanism for promoting the integration of rules in the Greater Bay Area, and promote the establishment of a normalized communication mechanism among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao.

The Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area, which has the characteristics of “one country, two systems, and three jurisdictions”, faces varying difficulties in promoting market integration.

On May 13th, the Guangdong Greater Bay Area Office officially announced the second batch of “Typical Cases of Guangdong Province Promoting the Connection Mechanism of Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area Rules” (hereinafter referred to as “Typical Cases”), consisting of 16 cases, including 5 cross-border flow cases of elements, 5 integration cases of people’s livelihoods, 3 business environment cases, and 3 major platform construction cases.

“Our understanding of promoting the integration of rules and regulations in the Greater Bay Area is fundamentally based on adhering to the principle of ‘one country’, making good use of the benefits of ‘two systems’, actively seeking the maximum common denominator of the rules and regulations in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, and striving to transform institutional differences into development momentum,” said Zhu Wei, Deputy Director of the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission and Executive Deputy Director of the Guangdong Greater Bay Area Office.

In the future, the Greater Bay Area will continue to deepen the integration of rules and mechanisms, starting with strengthening top-level design and improving institutional mechanisms. Zhu Wei stated that he will further improve the overall coordination mechanism for promoting the integration of rules in the Greater Bay Area, promote the establishment of a normalized communication mechanism among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, actively seek relevant work permissions from the country, and provide good institutional support for promoting the integration of rules in the Greater Bay Area.

At the same time, we will also promote the integration of rules in key areas. Focusing on hot and difficult issues of public concern in areas such as cross-border flow of factors, business environment, and integration of people’s livelihoods, we will promote the implementation of a number of landmark policy issues through project-based, task-based, inventory based, and ledger based approaches.

In addition, it will play a good demonstration and driving role of major platforms. Using major cooperation platforms in Hengqin, Qianhai, Nansha, and Hetao as carriers, we will promote the integration and connection of rules among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, replicate and promote the pilot policies of major cooperation platforms to the Greater Bay Area, promote the efficient and convenient flow of various factors through “points” and “surfaces”, and effectively enhance the level of market integration in the Greater Bay Area.

Responding to the demand for cross-border flow of elements

How to respond to cross-border flow needs such as personnel, goods, and funds has become a focus of the Greater Bay Area in recent years to strengthen the coordination mechanism of rules.

Zhu Wei introduced that Guangdong has implemented a talent endorsement policy for travel between Hong Kong and Macao, accepting over 19000 talent endorsements and promoting the convenient passage of various talents in the Greater Bay Area. Innovate convenient customs clearance modes such as “one place, two inspections”, “cooperative inspection, and one release”, and improve personnel clearance efficiency and sensitivity. Launching the “Cross border Wealth Management Connect 2.0 version” to further optimize admission conditions and expand product scope, with over 70000 participating investors.

There are common pain points and bottlenecks in cross-border transactions among residents in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, such as scattered service information distribution, high threshold for identity authentication, and complex payment application operations. According to the second batch of “Typical Cases”, the “Wanshitong” (Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Cross border Comprehensive Service Platform), which was officially launched in December 2023, takes digitalization as the entry point to aggregate the basic capabilities of digital government reform and construction and the advantageous resources of digital leading enterprises. Unlike the traditional construction model dominated by fiscal funds, this comprehensive service platform has diversified participation forces, innovated the “government guidance, enterprise leadership, and social participation” construction model, and created a diversified investment matrix.

“Wanshitong” has demonstrative significance in promoting rule integration through digital means. The platform has launched over 100 services in the first batch, covering cross-border document processing, traffic processing, transportation, one code payment, employment recruitment, medical treatment and medication, food, accommodation and travel information, and more. The daily active users are more than 30000 (with a peak weekend value of over 80000).

In addition to the “Bay Affairs Pass”, the Guangdong Hong Kong Cross border Pass Service Zone has also been launched, providing residents of the Greater Bay Area with more high-quality and convenient public services. The deepening of professional qualification recognition and the pilot work of practicing Hong Kong and Macao lawyers in mainland China have promoted the practice of Hong Kong and Macao professionals in the Greater Bay Area. The release of 183 “Bay Area Standards” and 15 “Bay Area Certification” projects leads the high-quality development of the Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area with advanced standards.

Strengthening cross-border cooperation in multiple key areas such as finance and medicine

The second batch of “Typical Cases” released by the Greater Bay Area covers cross-border cooperation in multiple key areas such as finance and medicine. The document mentions that the People’s Government of Guangdong Province has launched the first green bond with the China Europe Common Classification Catalogue of Sustainable Finance in Macau, creating a demonstration model of green investment and financing linkage in the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, which includes “Guangdong entity issuance, Hong Kong certification support, Macao market listing, and fund utilization in green projects in the Bay Area”.

This bond was jointly issued by the People’s Bank of China Guangdong Branch, Guangdong Provincial Department of Finance, Hong Kong Quality Assurance Bureau (third-party green certification agency), Bank of China Macau Branch (bond lead underwriter) and other departments, and was first issued by the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government in Macau. This bond is the first provincial-level local government green bond issued in China using the China Europe Common Classification Catalogue for Sustainable Finance, and also the first local government green bond issued by mainland issuers in Macau. This further enriches the variety of Macau bond market, promotes the integration of green finance standards between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau, and links the green bond market.

It is understood that the bond was successfully issued in Macau on August 31 last year, with a total amount of 1 billion yuan. The bond has a term of 3 years and a coupon rate of 2.55%. The raised funds will be used for 269 sewage treatment projects in the Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area.

The linkage mechanism of cross-border rules in fields such as healthcare and biopharmaceuticals has also attracted attention. In the field of biological research, Guangzhou has piloted the reform of cross-border free flow of scientific research materials. Last year, two batches of positive cross-border lists of scientific research materials were issued.

Among them, for special items and animal and plant derived biomaterials with significant obstacles in customs clearance for scientific research materials, considering the gradual, scientific, and safe promotion of pilot work, 29 items including animal stem cells were finally recognized as included in the positive list. At the same time, establish a fast customs clearance mechanism for items included in the positive list, implement a series of facilitation measures such as prioritizing quarantine approval, document review, and inspection, and simplify the process of handling tax reduction and exemption. As of now, pilot units have been promoted to enjoy an actual import value of over 300 million yuan and an actual tax reduction of over 30 million yuan.

In the field of medicine, Zhongshan City has taken the lead in connecting the three major links of “overseas holding+domestic production”: commission, production, and sales. It has achieved the launch and sale of “Vitamin C effervescent tablets” produced by Hong Kong United Laboratories in Zhongshan, pioneering the development of “Hong Kong medicine produced in Guangdong” and exploring new paths for the coordinated development of the biopharmaceutical industry in the Greater Bay Area.

As of February this year, the product has produced a total of 18.9865 million pieces in Zhongshan, and sold 13.998 million pieces in mainland China and overseas. It is worth noting that this collaboration innovatively utilizes the Hong Kong pharmaceutical production process control process. Introduce Hong Kong pharmaceutical production equipment, talents, and processes, connect with Hong Kong pharmaceutical production regulations, and ensure that the quality of cross-border pharmaceutical production is controllable throughout the entire process.

Shenzhen has carried out the transformation of domestic and international standards for hospital quality evaluation. The hospital evaluation and certification system that connects with international standards has improved the structure and standard system of domestic hospital evaluation, facilitating the participation of domestic medical institutions in international medical affairs and international patients receiving high-quality medical services in China. At present, 13 hospitals from 5 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Hong Kong have participated in the first batch of certification, with a total of 9 hospitals in mainland China.

Among them, the establishment of a non-profit third-party hospital evaluation and research center has been approved as a pilot unit for international hospital evaluation and certification standards by the National Health Commission. The “International Certification Standards for Hospital Quality (2021 Edition)” has been developed and certified by the International Society for Medical Quality (ISQua) with a score rate of 97%, becoming the first internationally certified hospital evaluation standard in China.

At the meeting, Zhu Wei introduced that he will continue to promote the “Hong Kong and Macao Drug and Equipment Connect”, approving a total of 19 designated medical institutions and 56 clinically urgently needed Hong Kong and Macao drug and medical devices in the Greater Bay Area, better meeting the needs of the public for medication and equipment.

The second batch of “Typical Cases” mentioned the achievements of exploring cross-border rule linkage mechanisms in Guangzhou Nansha, Zhuhai Hengqin, Shenzhen Qianhai, Hetao and other places, and the leading demonstration effect of major cooperation platforms is being amplified. Hengqin has taken the lead in implementing “separate line management” nationwide, and innovative policies such as opening up the “first line” of goods, controlling the “second line”, and making personnel entry and exit more convenient have been successively implemented. Qianhai has taken the lead in conducting experiments in the field of cross-border civil and commercial legal services, and has taken the lead in implementing the Hong Kong Capital Hong Kong Law and Hong Kong Capital Hong Kong Arbitration. Nansha focuses on the business environment, financial market interconnectivity, public services, and social management, actively building a highland for connecting rules and mechanisms. Hetao focuses on building an international scientific and technological innovation system and mechanism, promoting efficient and convenient cross-border flow of innovative elements.

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