30 March 2016
China to Deepen Pan-PRD Regional Cooperation
The State Council issued the Guiding Opinions on Deepening Regional Cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (Pan-PRD) on 15 March in a bid to boost cooperation in the region to a higher level, into a deeper domain and with a wider range.
The Opinions set out the need to firmly establish and implement the development philosophy with elements of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing, adhere to the guiding principle of concerted development and mutual benefit, focus on deepening reform, expand the opening-up, further improve the mechanism in concerted development, accelerate the establishment of a more equitable and open market system. The directives also call on efforts to promote the development in the Zhujiang-Xijiang Economic Belt (Zhujiang referring to the Pearl River, and Xijiang to the Xi River) and major inter-provincial cooperation platform, promote the integrated development of the nine provinces and autonomous regions concerned, deepen closer co-operation with Hong Kong and Macau, as well as building a prosperous, harmonious, ecologically sound Pan-PRD region.
The Opinions put forward eight key tasks in deepening regional cooperation in the Pan-PRD, namely:
1. Promote the development of regional economic cooperation by building an important economic rapport with Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Big Bay Area as leaders and the Zhujiang-Xijiang Economic Belt as its hinterland, driving the regional development of central south and southwest and having the effects radiating into Southeast Asia and South Asia.
2. Vigorously promote the development of a unified market, implement unified market rules, establish regional social credit cooperation system and build up a system to enhance efficiency of ports of entry in the region.
3. Promote the integrated development of major infrastructure facilities, build a modern integrated transport system, construct an energy supply security system, improve the water infrastructure system and speed up regional network infrastructure upgrades.
4. Promote regional innovation-driven development, strengthen regional cooperation in scientific and technological innovation, construct regional collaborative innovation system and optimise regional innovation environment.
5. Strengthen social cooperation in education, culture, health, human resources and social security, tourism and societal governance.
6. Work together to foster the new advantages of opening-up, actively integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative, give full play to the demonstration effect of pilot free trade zones and promote the development of ports of entry and special zones.
7. Advance ecological civilisation in a collaborative manner, strengthen inter-provincial river basin water resources and water environmental protection, step up the comprehensive management of air pollution, and improve collaborative protection and governance mechanisms in ecological environment.
8. Give full play to the unique roles of Hong Kong and Macau, promote the closer cooperation of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau in major infrastructure and industrial projects, industry, major platforms for cooperation and social affairs, as well as carrying out multi-level cooperation and exchanges.
As well, the Opinions call for measures to ensure deepening cooperation in the Pan-PRD region:
1. Relevant departments of the State Council should strengthen guidance and services in the regional cooperation in the Pan-PRD. Government authorities of the nine provinces and autonomous regions concerned should strengthen organisation and leadership to improve the working mechanism to fulfill their work responsibilities and jointly draw up collaborative development plans with Hong Kong and Macau.
2. Improve the innovative cooperation mechanism, give full play to the role of the chief executive joint conference system as well as expanding the influence of the Pan-PRD Regional Cooperation and Development Forum.
3. Set up cooperative funding safeguard mechanism to support the establishment of the Pan-PRD Regional Cooperation Development Fund, promote cooperation in the form of public–private partnership (PPP) and support development finance institutions to play an active role in the cooperation.
For the full text of the Opinions in Chinese, please see