China announces plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area

19 February 2019

China´s State Council on Monday announced the details of the plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay, which aims to create a high-tech megalopolis in the south of the country.


The plan, announced by the Xinhua news agency, said the government will transform the area into a global innovation hub, develop connectivity infrastructure and strengthen the role of four of the region’s cities.


The document clearly states that Hong Kong will be the area’s financial, maritime and trade centre. Macau will be an international tourism and liaison centre between China with the Portuguese-speaking countries and Guangzhou will be the administrative centre of the region.Shenzhen is also given the status of Special Economic Zone and Technology Centre of the Greater Bay.


Also according to the document on the Greater Bay the central government will support the banks and insurers of Hong Kong and Macau to establish themselves in cities in the region, notably in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. China will also study the establishment of a clearing house in Yuan for Portuguese-speaking countries.


The region, with more than 67 million residents, has a 3 trillion-dollar economy that may become much bigger than the Japanese economy.


The Greater Bay Area, covering an area of 56,000 square kilometres, will encompass the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong.


The document said that the Greater Bay will bring new impetus to the development of Hong Kong and Macau and will help create a area of great development of the 11 cities that make up the region.


China has already invested millions of dollars in infrastructure projects in the area to connect its cities.


The plan has two stages of development. The first by 2022, when the plan expects the reinforcement of cooperation between cities and their economic structures with a view to preparing for a new stage in 2035, which provides for interconnected economic development supported by innovation and technology.


In 2018 President Xi Jinping inaugurated the world’s largest sea bridge, stretching 55 kilometres and linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai and costing US$15 billion. In September 2018, Hong Kong inaugurated the new rail terminal for fast trains, and as a result the special administrative is linked to China’s fast train network, which over 24,000 kilometres of track.


Details of the Greater Bay Area development plan:

The bay area should be driven by innovation and led by reform.

Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are the four core cities of the 11.

Governments in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong should enhance communication and cooperate with mutual respect.

Authorities are to draw up plans to control financial risks and crack down on illegal activities.


Key development areas:

  1. An international innovation and technology hub

More opportunities and better conditions for Hong Kong and Macau youths to start businesses in the bay area.

Allow Hong Kong and Macau research and design firms in Guangdong to have the same treatment as mainland companies and benefit from national and provincial policies.

  1. Expediting infrastructural connectivity.

Adopt new models of clearance procedures on the express rail and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

Improve electricity transmission between mainland and Hong Kong.

Increase capacity at immigration ports in the bay area for a more efficient flow of people and goods.

  1. Deepen ties between Hong Kong and mainland financial systems.

Stock connections between Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, will be enhanced.

Eligible Hong Kong and Macau banks and insurance firms will be supported in opening branches in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.

  1. Quality of life, work and travel.

Encourage Chinese nationals in Hong Kong and Macau to work at state enterprises and agencies.

Hong Kong and Macau residents working on the mainland could get the same rights to education, medical care, elderly care, housing and transport as mainland residents.

  1. Education in the bay area.

Consider letting Hong Kong teachers work in Guangdong.

Children of Hongkongers working on the mainland could get same right to education as mainland residents.

Higher-education institutions from different cities will be supported in running schools and programmes jointly.

  1. Cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

The establishment of a Greater Bay Area international commercial bank in Guangdong.

Create an international and market-oriented business environment based on rule of law, under the jurisdiction and legal framework of mainland China.

  1. Ecological conservation.

Strengthen water and air pollution control in the Pearl Delta River area.(macauhub)