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New Opportunities for Science and Technology of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: Complementary with Guangdong Province and Hong Kong
Guangdong Province is an important scientific and technological base in the mainland of China. In 2016, more than 6,500 high-technology enterprises were established in the province, accounting for one fifth of total proportion in China which comes first amongst all provinces. With the advantages of Guangdong Province, Guangdong Provincial Government issued the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor Plan at the end of 2017 to build up an innovative economic belt linking up with Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen, aiming to play the leading role on innovation ability of science and technology industry by 2020. With the rapid development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, technology innovation is always the irreplaceable part of it, making effort to lead the tendency of technology innovation into Hong Kong and Macao and jointly facilitating Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Bay Area to become an international technology innovation center.
In order to find out how Hong Kong and other regions can complement each other's strengths on technology innovation under the framework of the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Because of the assistance of the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province, the Research Department of Hong Kong Trade Development Council visited three cities of Guangdong Province which are Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen in September 2018 for bringing more and better opportunities of cooperation and development into Hong Kong and Guangdong Province and communicating with the regional trade officials and the representatives of high-technology enterprises.
Pionmi Innovation and Technology (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd. (referred to as "Pionmi" hereinafter), one of the interviewees, appropriately demonstrating about how Hong Kong enterprises utilize effectively the resources provided by Guangdong Province to enhance their competitiveness and grasp the greater opportunities of development in the mainland market.
Entering the Mainland Market Actively
Pionmi is a high-technology enterprise specializing in aluminum dyestuffs since it was established in Hong Kong in 1993. Pionmi’s product-line includes the various metal surface treatment agents, anodizing dyes for aluminum materials and their pre-and post-treatment auxiliaries, such as degreasers, sanding agents, oxidation auxiliaries and etc.
The business scope mainly focused on Hong Kong in the beginning. Nevertheless, the problems about environment pollution would be inevitably caused by Pionmi’s new materials applied to industry so the management team decided to transfer the business into the mainland in which would not be as demanding on environmental protection as Hong Kong at that time.
As the domestic market’s demands on products with high quality is growing, Pionmi sets up the headquarter in South China Advanced Materials Innovation Park in Guangzhou in which it is beneficial to stay close with the customers and understand about what the market actually needs in this industry, and most importantly, Pionmi will have the more opportunities to fit in the mainland market. Besides, Pionmi establishes the branches in Shanghai, Suzhou and Nansha District in Guangzhou in order to satisfy the rapid development, all of these are compliant with “We just follow the market” which is said by Mr Chan Kwok Leung who is the president of Pionmi.
On the other hand, transferring the business into the mainland will be beneficial for the further development of the company because Guangdong Province is the most critical production base in China, for which there is the mature supply chain. Additionally, the laboratory is established in the mainland in order to meet the customers’ requirements more effectively. When the products are promoted and sold, those will be improved or enhanced after acquiring customers’ feedback.
China government strongly supports the innovation
For the innovating corporations, especially the young ones, those need to rely on the government’s assistance. At present, the support on the innovation and technology given by the Hong Kong government mainly come from Innovation and Technology Fund organized by Innovation and Technology Commission which aims to offer the fund for the critical research project. Innovation and Technology Commission even sets up Guangdong - Hong Kong Corporation Funding Scheme under the framework of Innovation and Technology Fund, which makes the efforts to facilitate the collaboration between Guangdong Province’s and Hong Kong’s research institutes and enterprises.
Moreover, the operation of Hong Kong High Technology Expertise in the mainland will have the multiple supports such as funds and other assistances which are the factors that Pionmi builds up in the domestic market.
The high technology expertise in China can be benefited of national, provincial and city government’s preferential policies, especially the support provided by the industrial park, for instance, the companies located at the innovation park is able to have the access to sharing service platform of company equipment, investment and financing, marketing and the consultation of start-ups and policy.
Mr Chan Kwok Leung suggests that the mainland can provide the ideal atmosphere for the start-ups and innovation, which will be good for the company’s development. Technology innovation is the critical development element for high technology expertise such as Pionmi, which is why Pionmi intends to corporate with the college and purchase new patents. Purchasing and acquiring the patents will be helpful for the enhancement of the company’s professionality and competitiveness, says Mr Chan.
Hong Kong is regarded as the development platform for the oversea market
As Pionmi has more attention in the mainland, its sales pattern is slightly changing. Nowadays, Pionmi’s products are mainly sold to China, 20-30% of total proportion of products will be exported to Southeast Asian countries and only 10% of those for Hong Kong. Southeast Asian countries are the important markets for Pionmi, other than the mainland. Hong Kong always plays the key role of entrepot trade when exporting the products to the foreign countries.
Except for the logistic function, Hong Kong is a platform in which Pionmi can take good care of the foreign business. Furthermore, it will be much easier to solve the financial difficulties of overseas business, for example, the settlement and the overseas transfer as Hong Kong which is the international financial center can provide the enterprises with the pluralistic financial services and has the more sophisticated financial system than the mainland. Therefore, Hong Kong is regarded as the gorgeous platform for developing the international market and facilitating the opportunities of trading with countries along The Belt and Road by Pionmi.
The improved financial system and efficient logistic network are two elements supporting the medium and small enterprises, says to Mr Chan. But he also thinks that the mainland has the more advanced development than Hong Kong during these years. Hong Kong should keep on improving on all the strengths that it always has in order for the permanent significance of Hong Kong’s advantages. With the completion and operation of the large infrastructure such as Hong Kong – Zhuhai- Macao Bridge and Hong Kong part of Guangzhou - Hong Kong High Speed Railway, the transportation network of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will become increasingly convenient, leading to the supplementary strengths between Guangdong Province and Hong Kong and the fertile growth of companies of Greater Bay Area.