Bauhinia Pearl River Delta Study Tour 2012

Date: 2012-08-27

Address:  Shenzhen and Guangzhou

Led by FoBs Rock Chen and Armstrong Lee, the four-day study tour to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) from 27 to 30 August 2012 provided an eyeopening opportunity for some 70 youth delegates from local and overseas universities to acquire a first-hand perspective of the many assets and opportunities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Cross-generation dialogue

A key feature of the itinerary was a high table dinner hosted by the Centre’s Chairman Anthony Wu, where participants got a chance to meet and exchange ideas with Mr Wu and another guest speaker, Adjunct Associate Professor of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Simon Shen.

Hong Kong-Mainland integration, challenges faced by the younger generation, youth aspirations, pursuit of a ‘second life’, as well as the role of think tanks, were among the topics raised and discussed during this cross-generation dialogue session held on the first evening of the Shenzhen tour.

Mr Wu encouraged youngsters to keep an eye on regional, national and international developments. Citing himself as an example, he said, “In the old days, an accountant like me only cared about accounting, while a doctor never touched on things other than medicine. Nowadays, as global citizens, professionals have to stay abreast of the comings and goings outside their professions, not only in Hong Kong, but also in our motherland and other parts of the world. You will be able to grab the opportunities only if you know where they are.” Asked if young people should sacrifice their aspirations for a better paid job, Prof. Shen said people should never give up pursuing a ‘second life’, which could be realised when they have a stable life in which their basic needs were met.

Monday to Friday dwellers

Howard Lam, Elton Chan and Renee Leung were among the thousands of Hong Kong people working in the Mainland. Sharing their experiences of being stationed in the PRD during a sharing session at Sun Yat-sen University, the three guest speakers said they believed Hong Kong people still enjoyed certain competitive edges. They encouraged youngsters to equip themselves to enhance their competitiveness. Describing themselves as ‘Monday to Friday dwellers’, they expressed their strong attachment to Hong Kong despite having chosen the Mainland as their workplace.

Action-packed itinerary

Jam-packed with exciting activities, the PRD tour covered mainly the creative culture and high-tech industries of the region. Through visits to important landmarks and infrastructure, such as Huaqiang Culture Technology Group, Honda and Yiantian Port, Shenzhen Media Group, Nanfang Daily, Shamian Island and Zhujiang New Town, participating youth could see for themselves how the cities raised their GDP through moving up the value chain while preserving their traditions and culture as well as their historical character and identity. With 10 students from Sun Yat-Sen University joining the tour, the young delegates got a valuable chance to compare the similarities and differences between Hong Kong and Mainland youngsters, in terms of career plans, personal goals and more.