In Hengqin, a policymaking system designed to support Macau is gradually taking shape.
Grace Yu (text) Hengqin New District (photos)
Since its forerunner, the Hengqin Pilot Free Trade Zone, was officially established four years ago, Hengqin New Area has boomed: GDP is up by an annual average of 29.1%, while nearly 60,000 enterprises have registered here. No fewer than 370 institutional innovations have been achieved, while a policymaking system designed to support Macau is gradually taking shape.
Hengqin has launched its own version of the Guangdong-Macau Development Fund, worth RMB20 billion, which will give priority support for Macau-invested projects, as well as Macau enterprises and employees. Apartments and other public resources are being provided in an effort to attract talented professionals. Examples of early adopters of all these incentives include a law firm and a construction project consulting company jointly run by partners from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau.
According to official statistics, there are 2,787 Hong Kong and Macau enterprises registered in Hengqin, of which 1,461 are Macau-funded.
Since its official launch in April 2011, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park, a joint venture between Guangdong and Macau, has been developing quickly, with a total of 126 enterprises registered.
They include State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicines (University of Macau), Bei’ao Chinese Medicine Innovation Research Institute (jointly promoted by PKU and University of Macau) and an Intertek testing organization. Two products from two different enterprises in the park have been registered in Mozambique.
In March this year, Hengqin introduced 16 new special measures in support of the development of the park, while those enterprises using the park’s pharmaceutical research and development contract outsourcing service platform have been enjoying 50% reduction in fees.
Across on the other side of the island, InnoValley HQ is also growing in popularity. On March 15, Hengqin and University of Macau signed a cooperation agreement to build the Industrial Academic Research Demonstration Base. This will draw on the strengths of three state-level key laboratories and some of the outstanding disciplines of University of Macau. To date, 336 projects have been incubated in InnoValley HQ, including 179 entrepreneurial teams from Macau.
HENGQIN TRIES ‘NON-PHYSICAL’ TAX FILING
On April 23, Guangdong Provincial Tax Service, State Taxation Administration officially launched a pilot program for the “non-physical” handling of tax matters in Hengqin New Area. This enables taxpayers not to have to appear in person for 326 tax-related matters in seven categories.Meanwhile, the tax authority of Hengqin New Area has introduced procedures for the real-name authentication and non-physical tax handling of non-resident individuals.
For Hong Kong and Macau residents, V-Tax can help free them from the restrictions imposed due to their special credential type, and enable them to enjoy the convenience arising from “all-online” tax handling. In addition, due to its proximity to Hong Kong and Macau, Hengqin has been increasingly handling non-resident tax affairs of many resident enterprises. After the non-physical tax filing reform, 100% of non-resident tax withholdings can be handled online.
Meanwhile, across the remaining 2.57 sq km of land in the Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Industrial Park, a new project implementation mechanism has been put in place, in which the Macau government will take the lead and Hengqin will support, with a focus on high-tech industries, strategic emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, biomedicine and digital economy, as well as high-end service industries.
At present, Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute has received more than 20 project applications and is about to initiate the joint project review process.
At the same time, Hengqin has opened a special cross-border commuter line between the Hengqin HQ building and Macau. This comes just as the first batch of Macau enterprises have set up remote offices in the building. Taken together, they have provided improved convenience for employees of Macau-invested enterprises in Hengqin and Macau residents living and working in Hengqin.
Hengqin is not only about work; lifestyle issues are of paramount concern for residents.
|MACAU PEOPLE WITH RESIDENCE IN HENGQIN GET MEDICAL INSURANCE IN ZHUHAI|
|Starting from July 1, Macau ID card holders with residences in Hengqin can participate in a basic medical insurance pilot program implemented by Zhuhai for a trial period of half a year, according to a document recently released by Zhuhai Medical Security Bureau.|
Macau ID card holders who have received residence permits for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (other than those who have been employed in Zhuhai or are studying in various schools in Zhuhai) can apply for insurance participation as students, minors or urban/rural residents with their residence permits.
According to Zhuhai Medical Security Bureau, after consultation with Macau, the financial subsidies for insurance participation during the pilot period will be borne by the Macau SAR government, and individuals can apply for subsidies according to the relevant regulations after paying their personal contributions.
According to Yang Chuan, Director of the Administrative Committee of Hengqin New Area, construction will begin on the “Hengqin-Macau New Neighborhood” project by September.
This is a comprehensive lifestyle project co-managed by the administrations of Zhuhai and Macau, aimed at jointly providing integrated elderly care, living spaces, education, medical treatment and other functions in Hengqin.