Hong Kong-Macao residents guided into living in Zhuhai
Guidelines making it convenient for Hong Kong and Macao residents to live, work, and open businesses in Zhuhai have been codified and were released by the city Nov 12 at the 11th Zhuhai-Macao Cooperation Development Forum.
Sixty measures, many already in effect in the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone on Hengqin Island, address issues of education, employment, entrepreneurship, scientific innovation and cooperation, economics and trade, and culture.
For instance, since July 2019, Macao residents who live in but are not employed in Hengqin have qualified for Zhuhai's basic medical insurance and shared the same medical benefits as other residents. In all, 24,000 Macao residents living in the city are covered by basic medical insurance. In addition, 90 percent of Macao residents residing in Hengqin have social security cards, and 100,000 of them have received medical services on the island.
Another example is that over five years, the entry-exit quota of Macao's single-plate vehicles has increased to 10,000. This began when the first nine Macao single-plate vehicles entered the Chinese mainland at Hengqin Checkpoint in December 2016.
Hengqin Comprehensive Service Center of the Macau Federation of Neighborhood Associations [Photo by Li Jianshu / Zhuhai Daily]
And, the first comprehensive social service project by a Macao community group in the Chinese Mainland opened at Macao's Hengqin Comprehensive Service Center in November 2019. The Macau Federation of Neighborhood Associations, the "Super Habitat Council," comprises more than 8,000 groups with an average membership of 70 people. The first such organization of its kind on the Chinese mainland, it has 13 senior staff members from Macao providing rehabilitation training, workshops, and outdoor activities.
Wu Xiaoli, head of the federation, said the Hengqin center has served 72,000 Zhuhai and Macao residents and organized 1,415 activities. Furthermore, psychological counseling or physical treatment has been provided to 340 people and 106 local rights protection cases were processed.
Also benefitting from policies, Hong Kong and Macao tour guides, social workers, architects, and doctors are allowed cross-border practice in Hengqin.
The measures also encourage Hong Kong and Macao young people (ages 18-45) to start businesses in Zhuhai. Now 4,600 Macao-funded companies are registered in Hengqin, making it the most concentrated area of Macao companies on the Chinese mainland.
Further steps also have been taken to deepen cooperation between Zhuhai, the University of Macau, and Macau University of Science & Technology. The measures state that universities, scientific research institutions, and companies in Zhuhai, Hong Kong, and Macao will receive support for scientific innovation projects. Four Macao State Key Laboratories have branches in Hengqin.
Liu Yiliang, permanent chairman of the Association of Returned Overseas Chinese Macau and a Macao deputy to the National People's Congress, expressed hope that Hengqin's experience would be promoted in the Greater Bay Area and attract more Hong Kong and Macao residents to settle in the Chinese mainland.
Macao residents who live in Zhuhai's Hengqin New Area can apply for coverage of the city's basic medical insurance starting from July 1.
Tour guides with qualification certificates issued by either Hong Kong or Macao will permitted to work in Hengqin New Area starting Dec 1.