A Hong Kong business representative has proposed setting up a high-technology talent training centre with Shenzhen in a meeting with a Shenzhen vice-mayor.
The businessman said the training centre would serve as a springboard for Special Administrative Region hi-tech firms to market products on the mainland market.
The move is believed to be an attempt by the SAR business circle to find a way out of the dire domestic economic situation induced by the global slowdown.
Shenzhen vice-mayor Wang Suiming said she welcomed the proposal.
'We are highly concerned about the SAR's current economy . . . the two cities should work out ways to co-operate closely,' Ms Wang said.
She said after the meeting that Shenzhen and SAR governments did not share enough communication and that the regional cultural difference could be the cause.
The meeting was an offshoot event of the third China Hi-tech Fair in Shenzhen.
The training centre proposal echoed Shenzhen's offer to co-develop a hi-tech zone with the SAR at the mutual border.
Shenzhen put forward the idea more than two years ago but the SAR government was not enthusiastic about the offer.
The government has only recently become active in seeking closer co-operation with the rest of the Pearl River Delta region as the economy worsened.
SAR Commissioner for Innovation and Technology Francis Ho Suen-wai, who led the Hong Kong business delegation, said the government was concerned about the impact on the investment in the SAR's hi-tech sector by the United States' slowdown and the September 11 terrorist attacks on the country.
Mr Ho said investors should not scale back their hi-tech investment, mostly long-term ones, due to 'short-term' negative prospects.