Advancing Sino-Japanese Cooperation: 2nd Greater Bay Area China-Japan Entrepreneurs Summit

Source: Hong Kong Commercial Daily 

On March 18th, the 2nd Greater Bay Area China-Japan Entrepreneurs Summit was held at the Kerry Center in Qianhai, Shenzhen. The Summit was jointly organised by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Entrepreneurs Alliance and the Consulate-General of Japan in Guangzhou, attracting over 100 Japanese entrepreneurs from the Bay Area and more than 200 representatives of Chinese and Hong Kong-funded enterprises. The event was also watched by over 10,000 people through live streaming.

Dr. Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Chairman of the Entrepreneurs Alliance, stated that since the reform and opening-up, many Japanese entrepreneurs have keenly observed the development potential of the Greater Bay Area and have invested and set up factories in the Pearl River Delta. Today, the Greater Bay Area has become a demonstration zone, innovation zone, and leading region for high-quality development in China, and it remains one of the areas with the highest concentration of Japanese enterprises, the largest investment, and the highest level of technological content.

Dr. Choi emphasised that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and Sino-Japanese relations are in a crucial period of carrying forward the past and ushering in the future. China and Japan are both major global economies, and their economies are highly complementary. As of 2022, China has been Japan's largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years. He quoted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's previous speech in the United States, expressing Japan's hope to continue promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in areas such as digital economy, green development, fiscal and financial sectors, and healthcare and elderly care with China. These are also important directions for the industrial development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and it is worth the joint efforts of Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs to cultivate brilliant new achievements on this fertile land of longstanding friendship.

Mr. Zhang Jinzhou, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, delivered a speech on behalf of the Shenzhen Municipal Government. He emphasised that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is one of the most dynamic and open regions in China's economy. As one of the "Three Great Bay Areas" in the world, the development process and experience of the Tokyo Bay Area have important reference value for the high-quality construction and high-level opening-up of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Deepening the exchange and cooperation between the two bay areas is an important opportunity for Shenzhen and Japan to further expand economic and trade exchanges and enhance cooperation.

Zhang introduced that Shenzhen, which was an unknown border town 40 years ago, has developed into a globally influential modern international metropolis and one of the core cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, attracting worldwide attention. In 2023, the city's regional GDP reached 3.46 trillion yuan, with a growth rate of 6.0%, ranking among the top cities in China in terms of growth rate. The total industrial output value and industrial added value of the city have achieved the "double firsts" in the country's cities for two consecutive years.

Ms. Kijima Yoshiko, Consul-General of Japan in Guangzhou, stated in her speech that the Greater Bay Area is an important, capable, and promising region for Japanese companies. She described it as "When the Greater Bay Area coughs, China catches a cold. When China catches a cold, the world economy gets pneumonia, not to mention the Asian economy." Therefore, maintaining the economic vitality of the Greater Bay Area is crucial for the health of the Asian economic market, including Japan. She sincerely hopes that this exchange will bring fruitful results to Japanese-funded enterprises and the Greater Bay Area, and take the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and Japan to new heights.

Mr Yuan Fuyong, Deputy Director-General of the Qianhai Authority, revealed in his speech that in 2023, Qianhai achieved a regional GDP of 246.41 billion yuan, with a growth rate of 15%. The total number of registered foreign-funded enterprises reached 11,000, with actual foreign investment of 3.57 billion US dollars, maintaining its position as the leader among all cities in Shenzhen. 57 Japanese-funded enterprises, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Itochu Corporation, Nomura Securities, and Funai Electric, have established a presence in Qianhai, continuously expanding their presence in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Chinese mainland market.

Professor Tomoo Marukawa from the University of Tokyo's Institute of Social Sciences gave an academic report titled "Opportunities and Challenges Faced by the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: A Comparison with the Tokyo Bay Area" during the Summit. He compared the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the Tokyo Bay Area and highlighted the opportunities and challenges faced by both regions. Professor Marukawa emphasised the importance of innovation, technological advancements, and sustainable development in shaping the future of these bay areas.

Disclaimer: This document has been translated into English.  If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and the Chinese version, the Chinese version shall prevail. The full text of the measures, in Chinese, can be found below:

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