Premier Li Keqiang addresses delegates during the opening session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

China will unveil and implement the development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (also known as the Greater Bay Area), among other moves to promote the coordinated regional development of the country this year, Premier Li Keqiang said.

The country will promote in all areas mutually beneficial cooperation between the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao, Li said in a government work report delivered to the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beiing.

Over the past five years, exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao have been steadily enhanced as the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has been completed.

The Greater Bay Area is one of China’s regions that are called to coordinate development. Others include the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and the Yangtze Economic Belt.

According to the report, the country will make solid progress in the coordinated regional development strategy, and create a new landscape in regional development.

The ambitious concept of creating the Greater Bay Area dates back to 2015 in a State policy paper on the Belt and Road Initiative. It includes Hong Kong, Macao, and nine other cities in Guangdong.

Last year, the Central Government put the concept in the 13th Five-Year Plan, the blueprint guiding the country’s economic growth from 2016 to 2020.

It will be the most highly populated bay area worldwide, home to over 67.6 million people, with a total GDP of over US$1.3 trillion in 2016 that was equivalent to 14 percent of the national economic aggregate.

Also in the work report, Li said China will do more in implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, and continue to make the Chinese economy more innovative and competitive.

The country will empower innovation teams and leaders by seeing that they have more human, financial, and material resources at their disposal and more power to make decisions related to technology roadmaps. Overseas Chinese students are encouraged to return to China to pursue business and other innovative ventures. The country will also attract more foreign talent, Li said.

Basic research and application-oriented basic research will be strengthened. A number of major science and technology innovation programs will be launched, and top-quality national laboratories will be set up, the premier said.

Enterprises are encouraged to head up major science and technology programs. Collaborative innovation by research institutes, universities, and enterprises are also supported, according to Li.

China will establish a State financing guaranty fund, support leading innovative enterprises in going public, and extend nationwide the pilot preferential tax policies for venture capital investment and angel investment, Li said.

(Source: Xinhua)