Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday pledged to grant greater market access for investment from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Li also said the country would welcome people from the three places to study, work and enjoy living on the mainland.
His remarks were welcomed by Hong Kong’s business sector, which noted that the mainland had been opening up to city investors but hoped more could be done.Speaking at the Boao Forum in Hainan province, Li said investors from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were set to enjoy more national development opportunities.
“We will further relax market access for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan investment, in the sectors of finance, professional services and high-end manufacturing industries,” Li said.
“We will keep rolling out policies facilitating the flow of people between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau … and keep improving the environment for people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to invest, work, study and live [on the mainland], to allow them to better enjoy the good national development opportunities.”
Witman Hung Wai-man, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, welcomed Li’s remarks and said he hoped the changes could be rolled out as soon as possible, saying the business sector had been calling for further relaxation of restrictions on local investors across the border for almost a decade.
For example, he said, Hong Kong lawyers can practise on the mainland if they get certain qualifications, but they cannot be a firm’s managing partner, and their total shares cannot exceed those of mainlanders.
“I hope, and believe, all such restrictions could be lifted, especially in the ‘Greater Bay Area’,” Hung said, referring to the national development plan to integrate Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong cities into an innovation and technology hub.