The development of free trade areas and cross-border yuan lending would take priority as Hong Kong and Guangdong continued to boost economic cooperation, leaders on both sides of the border said. “Guangdong and Hong Kong are taking the lead in liberalising trade in services. Guangdong must make more use of Hong Kong’s competitive edge as the city is an international shipping centre, a financial centre and a trade centre,” Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan said. Zhu spoke as he led a delegation to Hong Kong to participate in the Eighteenth Plenary of Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference at government headquarters in Admiralty this morning. Zhu said the central government’s “one belt, one road” development initiative provided ample opportunities for Guangdong and Hong Kong and enabled the two places to deepen their cooperation. He reiterated the newly formed Guangdong Free Trade Zone would open to Hong Kong companies and investors, adding the zone planned to introduce measures to facilitate the entry, residence and exit of Hong Kong professionals. After meeting Zhu, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the two places had achieved a breakthrough in financial cooperation, as cross-border yuan lending was now available in all three free-trade areas in the province, namely, Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin in Zhuhai. He added: “The cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong covers all aspects.” Leung said governments on both sides of the border were working on issues including social development and livelihood, noting that most of his ministers attended the bilateral meeting. Guangdong and Hong Kong signed a number of cooperative agreements on education, food safety, e-commerce, intellectual property and joint rescue coordination.