New Hengqin Area wants to broker Chinese cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries

The New Area of Hengqin (NAH) aims to become a pilot region for economic cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Yang Chuan, director of the NAH’s administrative committee, told the China Daily newspaper.

Yang said that the location of the NAH at the mouth of the Pearl River and adjacent to the Macau Special Administrative Region, as well as its status as a free trade zone, makes it a natural choice for the implementation of a programme to attract investment and expand trade relations with Portuguese-speaking countries.

The NAH administrative committee also intends to increase cooperation with Hong Kong and Macau for joint development of logistics, tourism, finance, leisure and cross-border commercial/industrial projects, according to statements made to the Chinese newspaper.

Yang Chuan said that construction of the China-Latin America Industrial Cooperation Park was complete, covering an area of 244,000 square metres and costing more than 2.5 billion yuan (US$393 million). He added that contracts had already been signed for the establishment of 15 projects by Latin American companies.

“More than 3,000 products imported from Latin American and Portuguese-speaking countries are on display and sold at the sales centres of the park, which was built specifically to help these countries increase their presence in the markets of Guangdong province and the rest of the country,” Yang said.

All of these projects require transport, with Yang announcing that a railway line will link the island to the Guangzhou-Zhuhai intercity line from 2019, linking up with the national rail network.

Yang also said that a new road will connect with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, and is expected to be opened in the first half of 2019.

The NAH, one of Guangdong’s three free-trade pilot zones, the other two being Qianhai in Shenzhen and Nansha in Guangzhou, has recorded an average annual Gross Domestic Product growth of 39.2% over the last three years, with 18.36 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) in 2017, with foreign direct investment growing 37.77% over the same period to reach US$670 million in 2017. (macauhub)