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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recognizes the merit of developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, saying deeper intraregional collaboration will help member cities address shared challenges.
The key to making it work was reducing territorial tendencies of member cities, and promoting collaboration, Garcetti said during a talk in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Hong Kong is the last leg of the 47-year-old mayor"s Asia trip, which took him to Japan, South Korea and Vietnam to promote trade, investment and tourism.
Garcetti discussed the role of cities in bringing change and achieving prosperity at an event hosted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
He also recounted his efforts in bringing together more than 80 other mayors of Los Angeles County, whose county seat is Los Angeles city, to meet four times a year.
Describing Los Angeles County as a region with a population of 10 million, Garcetti said it is the world"s third-largest metropolitan economy, trailing only Tokyo and New York.
Collaboration between cities helps to sustain economic prosperity and create an interconnected future through the exchange of goods, ideas, innovation and best practices, he explained. Collaboration is also required to resolve shared problems, such as reducing air pollution and mitigating climate change.
There are many regionwide problems that ignore borders, and the mayors" meetings have been very important, Garcetti said. He said this experience also enabled him to have something to offer in Washington DC or in Sacramento, California"s state capital.
Consequently, Garcetti said he anticipates positive prospects from deeper cooperation in the 11-city Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area - with a population of 66 million.
The Bay Area, consisting of nine cities in Guangdong province and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, is a national development plan. It aims to become the largest of the world"s top four bay area commercial regions and a top industrial, high-tech, financial and transportation zone.
Steered by central government authorities, leaders of the National Development and Reform Commission, Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao have mechanisms to discuss and design policies that are mutually beneficial and to resolve problems with concerted efforts.
Garcetti also discussed his experience working with some of the 11 southern Chinese cities in the Bay Area. He visited Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Guangzhou and Los Angeles are sister cities, and the Southern California city"s business connections with Shenzhen companies are strong, Garcetti said. For instance, Los Angeles is home to Shenzhen-based Chinese automaker BYD"s North American headquarters, the mayor noted.
The parallels in the strengths of Hong Kong and Los Angeles are many, Garcetti said, noting similarities in topography, strategic geographic positions, diversity, the movie industry and the arts and food scenes. Both cities are economic powerhouses committed to driving development through innovation and active engagement in the global market, he added.
Garcetti met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor during his visit to the city.