International experts discuss development and governance issues of GBA at Lingnan University conference
23 Oct 2019
Experts from around the globe discussed key issues concerning the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) at a conference held on 22 and 23 October organised by Lingnan University, the South China University of Technology and The Education University of Hong Kong. The conference was entitled “Development, Challenges and Opportunities in Greater Bay Area.”
Released in February by the Central Government, the “Outlined Development Plan for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” marked the progress of the GBA into a substantive phase. Such developments towards regional integration allow capital and personnel to flow freely and smoothly, creating many opportunities but also bringing new challenges to governance. The Conference provided a platform for professionals and scholars to deliberate on these and related issues.
In his keynote speech, Prof Stuart Gietel-Basten of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology discussed the policy innovations achieved by the populations of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. He pointed out that as a region with 69 million people, the GBA faces many demographic challenges, such as an ageing population, labour shortages, the mismatch between different job expectations, and low fertility rates, among others. He noted that addressing these challenges is not easy, with the GBA facing multiple challenges at the cultural and practical levels. He referenced the population and social policies implemented in other parts of the world in proposing solutions for the demographic and labour difficulties facing the GBA.
Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice President and Lam Man Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy of Lingnan University, analysed the evaluation made by Hong Kong young people of the development opportunities in the GBA. In March this year Prof Mok’s research team conducted an online survey of Hong Kong residents aged between 18 and 35 to find out their willingness to work in the GBA and their views on GBA policies beneficial to Hong Kong people. In his speech, he explained the results of the survey in detail and put forward practical recommendations to encourage young people in Hong Kong to start businesses and obtain employment in the GBA.
Keynote speeches were also delivered by Prof George Lin of The University of Hong Kong, Prof Ku Yeun Wen from The National Taiwan University, Prof Ray Forrest from Lingnan University and Prof Ahmed Shafiqul Huque from McMaster University. Group discussions were held on such themes as social security and income protection, financial project and income protection, medical policy and governance, social policy management and political development, GBA policies, the welfare of vulnerable groups, and education and work issues.