Born and raised in Hong Kong, Steven Chan is chasing his dream in Chinese mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Attracted by the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, Chan moved to Guangdong province in 2015 and has since then worked in the financial sector there. Chan, in his 30s, described settling down in mainland cities as an inevitable decision for an ambitious young man like him.
While Hong Kong has a comparatively simple industrial structure, the Greater Bay Area as a whole owns more complete industrial chains and vibrant markets, as well as enormous demand for financial services, which offers professionals a much broader arena to realize their aspirations, Chan said.
Decades ago, Chan's father was among the first Hong Kong entrepreneurs entering the mainland markets after the country's reform and opening-up started.
Influenced by his family, Chan has been longing for setting up his own career in the mainland since childhood and his dream has eventually come true.
After graduating from the university, Chan at first was employed by a public company in Hong Kong and then moved to Shenzhen to seek more opportunities. With enough work experience, he eventually got a dream job in a State-owned financial leasing company in Guangzhou.
As more and more dream chasers like Chan coming to the Greater Bay Area, the mainland governments have rolled out a string of favorable policies to help them settle down and stretch their wings.
"I can feel the care in every possible way," Chan said. He has enjoyed tax concessions, housing allowances and transportation subsidies, among others. His employer offered him the chance to study at public expense, and a Hong Kong-funded bank operating in the mainland granted him a preferential interest rate for his house mortgage.
"Such policies made Hong Kong young people like me feel at home," Chan said.
After five years working in the mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area, Chan said residents there lead a life by no means inferior to global metropolises, with high-quality education and healthcare, fast transport networks and extensive use of technological innovation in everyday life.
Even nowadays, Chan is still often surprised by the speed and quality of the rapid development of the Greater Bay Area.
Apart from his own success, Chan also strived to help others seize opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. As of 2020, he has assisted nearly a thousand young people from Hong Kong, Macao and China's Taiwan in setting up their own businesses, participating in internship programs, or studying in the mainland.
"The spirit of the Greater Bay Area (in my mind) is to be united, help each other and work for mutual benefits," Chan said, encouraging Hong Kong young people to be creative and courageous and struggle for a better future with the Lion Rock Spirit.
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