BEIJING — Industrial experts and officials believe that the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” will provide strong support for an upgraded economy in China and drive economic development in southern China.
According to the annual government work report in 2017, China will draw up a plan for the development of a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, give full play to the distinctive strengths of Hong Kong and Macao, and elevate their positions and roles in the country’s economic development and opening up.
First addressed in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), the idea of building a Greater Bay Area is not new. It is an updated version of previous regional development initiatives, such as the Pearl River Delta and the Pan-Pearl River Delta.
“Delta initiative” focuses on driving mainland development, while “bay area initiative” stresses external links and grabbing a commanding position in the global industry chain, said Sun Bushu, vice head of a city study institute in southern China.
The “bay area initiative” is based on natural geographical conditions and has taken a leading role in economic reform. It features an open economic structure, highly effective resource allocation and advanced international communication network.
World’s top “bay area initiatives,” such as Bay Area near San Francisco, feature developed service industries, major global financial centers and transportation junctions, said Guo Wanda, executive vice president with the China Development Institute.
The Greater Bay Area will include the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, and nine cities in south China’s Guangdong province, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Foshan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen.