HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's New World Development said it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Chinese state-owned developer Yip Group to jointly explore and develop innovation and technology real estate projects in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The latest agreement, signed last Friday in Shenzhen, followed New World's earlier partnerships with state-backed China Resources Land and state-owned China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings to co-build homes in Hong Kong's "Northern Metropolis".

The Hong Kong government unveiled plans for the Northern Metropolis in 2021, aiming to provide homes for around 2.5 million people in a bid to ease a chronic housing shortage, and create a new business district close to the border with Shenzhen.

In a statement on Thursday, New World, a major developer in the financial city, said with Shum Yip Group they will together explore and develop the innovation and technology zone in Northern Metropolis and other initiatives.

They also aim to develop landmark projects for industry collaboration in the Greater Bay Area, which comprises 11 Chinese southern cities including Hong Kong and Macau, the statement added.

New World has one of the highest debt ratios in Hong Kong's property sector, and its de-leveraging plan has been in the spotlight in the past year.

Shum Yip Group is the controlling shareholder of Shenzhen Investment.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)