Greater Bay Area: Prospects and Challenges

The recently announced Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is an ambitious initiative to link different cities in the Pearl River Delta region into a dynamic financial and innovative powerhouse. As a prominent part of China’s national strategic plan, the proposed link involves 11 cities with a combined GDP twice that of San Francisco’s Big Bay and close to the similar scheme of New York. The region also has combined trade of US$1.5 trillion, more than three times that of the Tokyo Bay Area. In fact, the combined economic size of the Chinese Bay Area is comparable to Canada as the world’s tenth largest economy. A new vision for Hong Kong’s role in the regional cooperation is necessary to achieve mutual benefits and maintain overall competitiveness. As part of the integration plan, a series of large-scale infrastructure and transport projects, in particular the 26-km Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Hong Kong Section) and the 55-km Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, both opened in the second half of 2018, are vital links to facilitate the flow of people, goods, services, and capital. This in turn allows the concept of a “one-hour living circle” embedded in the Greater Bay Area project to be thoroughly realized. All these infrastructure developments are indeed highly effective in reducing the time and cost of overall integration. Hong Kong could […]

Mar 2, 2019

Hong Kong and the Big Deal That is the Greater Bay Area

From the onset of major market reform in China under Deng Xiaoping, Hong Kong has acted as a guiding light and entrepôt for the rest of mainland China. Now, the financial centre finds itself at a critical juncture as the rest of the nation begins to converge with the city in respect to trade, commerce and overall economic development. With that said, how does Hong Kong manage integration with the rest of China while still upholding the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’? A system which has helped it to continue to thrive as an economic centre for Asia for all these years. How Hong Kong deals with this could serve as a case study for all of China on economic transition, as, upon closer inspection, the issues that threaten to compromise the city’s development, are not actually all that different from the Mainland. Hong Kong: A City of Extremes The picture of Hong Kong is very much not unlike that of China, or most of the developed world for that matter. An aging population (with a median age of 44.4 years, Hong Kong currently plays host to the ninth oldest population in the world) is contributing to a shortage of labour and innovation, while sky high house prices and staggering levels of income inequality hold the potential to unravel […]

Oct 24, 2018