A new partnership, the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Investment Alliance, has been established to exploit investment opportunities in the twin cities, the South China Morning Post reported. At the top of its agenda will be cutting cross-border red tape and fostering government co-operation. The alliance's Hong Kong president, MTR Corp chairman Raymond Chien Kuo-fung, said the two cities were developing into an integrated market economy with a combined gross domestic product capable of rivaling Taiwan's. He said more cross-pollination would help both cities, but warned of the "need to overcome lots of protectionist sentiment". There is concern Hong Kong could be marginalized as the mainland continues to develop. The alliance comprises about 40 Hong Kong firms, including MTR Corp, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Kerry Holdings, and 40 Shenzhen firms, including telecoms equipment maker ZTE Corp, developer China Vanke, Shenzhen Yantian Port Group, Shenzhen Metro and China Merchant Bank.