The Central Government will draw up a plan for the development of a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 5. The concept will give full play to the distinctive strengths of Hong Kong and Macao and elevate their positions and roles in China’s economic development and opening up.
The bay area is an economic concept first put forward by Chia-Wei Woo, the founding president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He said that throughout history, bay areas are always the fastest growing. Woo listed four main characteristics of bay areas: super port, innovation, developed financial market and transportation hub. Three well-known bay areas in the world now are found in New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. They are all characterized by huge economic volume and highly coordinated industries.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area mainly consists of two regions and nine cities: the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing. In recent years, the Guangdong Provincial Government has proposed joining hands with its counterparts in Hong Kong and Macao to promote the development of the greater bay area.
The bay area concept serves as a great opportunity for Guangdong’s development. Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong should play an important role in converting this bay area into a great city cluster that will integrate innovation, service and coordination, according to Xiang Xiaomei, deputy to the National People's Congress and head of the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences Industrial Economy Research Institute.
As part of an economic plan at the national level, the bay has prodigious potential and also will bring great opportunities to Hong Kong, according to Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress.
(By Chris Wang, Louis Berney)