Home / China / Hong Kong's 20th return anniversary to China

Youth exchanges set to rise as cross-border ties deepen

By Yang Wanli | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-28 07:34

In January, the Hong Kong government signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, close to the border with the Chinese mainland, to jointly develop the Lok Ma Chau Loop as part of the fledgling Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park.

At 87 hectares, the park will be four times larger than the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, and is expected to be the largest in Asia - a Silicon Valley of the future.

Entrepreneurship in Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong's Pearl River Delta has flourished in the past year. For Johnny Ng, chairman of the Hong Kong United Youth Association, Hong Kong is now experiencing a golden period, and it's an opportunity that the younger generation should seize.

Having studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing from 2004 to 2006 to complete postdoctoral research, Ng said youth exchanges between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland have undergone great changes.

In the early 2000s, language was still a barrier because few people in Hong Kong could speak Mandarin, according to Ng: "Things changed in 2005 when lots of internship programs, lasting four to six weeks, were encouraged, and the younger generation got to know the mainland better - not just the historic sites and fabulous landscapes, but also the people. Now, we are in the third era, with more young people going to the mainland to start businesses."

In 2010, Ng launched the Hong Kong Youth Synergy Foundation, which helps young people from the city to take internships with mainland companies during summer vacations and allows them to learn more about the mainland.

"China now sees another chance for improved development - the Belt and Road Initiative. In the future, we will see greater cooperation between us; it's just like the popular saying that 'taking a large vessel helps you to sail further'," he said.

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