Speech at Subcommittee on Promoting Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

I. Education, talents cooperation and employment support (including youth)

Talents cooperation

Members welcomed the launch of the Top Talent Pass Scheme (“TTPS”), and enquired about the review of TTPS and whether the number of designated institutions under TTPS would be increased. The Administration advised that it had been making timely enhancement to TTPS, including the addition of a requirement for applicants to declare whether they had any criminal convictions.

The Administration planned to conduct a mid-term review of TTPS in the latter half of this year to examine whether the target of at least admitting 35 000 talents annually had been met. It would also actively consider the inclusion of more outstanding Mainland institutions in the existing list of educational institutions. While TTPS currently only focused on assessing the academic background of the applicants, the Administration would, in response to Members’ views, also consider collecting information on other professional background of the applicants for use in future planning.

Vocational and professional education and training (“VPET”) and youth innovation and entrepreneurship

Members noted that with the support of the HKSAR Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the Vocational Training Council (“VTC”) had established close collaboration with the Shenzhen Polytechnic (“SZPT”). Members suggested that the Administration should support VTC to organize more internship and exchange programmes in collaboration with SZPT for VPET students in Hong Kong and to explore the feasibility of mutual recognition of VPET qualifications between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The Administration expressed support for the two places to continue to explore cooperation in VPET, and pointed out that VTC and SZPT had jointly organized a series of locally-accredited higher diploma and dual award programmes and would apply to the Ministry of Education for relevant accreditation. In addition, VTC set up its first operation centre in Shenzhen in March this year to promote VPET cooperation and development between the two places. The establishment of the operation centre would not only facilitate VTC to draw reference from the successful experience of VPET development in Mainland cities, but also help VTC students grasp the development opportunities in GBA.

Exchange and training of teachers on the Mainland

Members noted that starting from the 2020/2021 school year, EDB had included Mainland study tours, which lasted for three to four days, in the core training for newly-joined teachers and as training requirement for promoted teachers. Members asked whether there was any difference in the itineraries of the Mainland study tours for newly-joined and promoted teachers, and whether the number of study tours would be increased in future to meet the keen demand of teachers.

The Administration advised that there would be some differences in the contents of the Mainland study tours for newly-joined and promoted teachers, but they all aimed at enabling teachers to experience first-hand the development of the country and strengthening their abilities to nurture the sense of national identity amongst their students. The Administration was also working with normal universities on the Mainland to enrich the content of the study tours by including various thematic seminars, and would consider increasing the number of study tours to ensure that there were sufficient places for teachers to meet their training requirements.

II. Commerce and trade development in Hong Kong in relation to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

GBA standards

Members noted that after discussion amongst the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and consultation with the trade, the Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation (“GAMR”) announced a total of two batches of 110 items proposed for inclusion in the List of GBA Standards, which covered diversified fields. Members considered that it would be conducive to the market development of Hong Kong enterprises if more items adopted the standards already available in Hong Kong and suitable for implementation in GBA as “GBA standards” (i.e. inclusion in the List by taking the approach of admissibility).

The Administration advised that GAMR had consulted the industry on the two batches of items proposed for inclusion in the List of GBA Standards, and Hong Kong industry representatives had also participated in the GBA Certification Alliance, which was established in September 2022.

Intellectual property (“IP”) and investment promotion

Members suggested that the Administration could publicize the successful cases of foreign capital investment in Shenzhen and Hong Kong to boost the confidence of potential investors.

On follow-up work aside from the promotion work, the Administration advised that elements of investment matching and business matching would be included in various programmes and promotional activities with the aim of creating a platform to connect worldwide investors and project owners, etc. However, it was a commercial decision for both sides to decide whether they would implement the collaborative projects afterwards.