GREATER BAY AREA (GBA) 2019
The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area) has been a feature of a number of China’s national strategies, including the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the 13th Five-Year Plan. The Greater Bay Area’s city cluster will extend across Hong Kong, Macao and nine Pearl River Delta (PRD) cities. In order to further advance the initiative, the State Council promulgated the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on 18 February 2019, mapping out the development plan for the Greater Bay Area.
The Greater Bay Area is strategically positioned to be (i) a vibrant world-class city cluster; (ii) a globally influential international innovation and technology hub; (iii) an important support pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative; (iv) a showcase for in-depth cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao; and (v) a quality living circle for living, working and travelling.
Cities in the PRD region will work closely with Hong Kong and Macao to support the early stage and pilot implementation of a range of innovative policies in the financial and social management sectors. They will also look to establish a world-class market-oriented business environment, promote the free flow of talents, goods and capital across the region, while raising the overall level of economic efficiency, transparency and internationalization. As one of the mainland’s leading economic growth engines, the Greater Bay Area will also harness the developmental advantages of the Pan-PRD region, including the central-south and southwestern regions of China, and play an important role in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.
According to the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is to consolidate and enhance its status as international financial, transportation and trade centres as well as an international aviation hub, to strengthen its status as a global offshore RMB business hub and its role as an international asset management centre and a risk management centre, to promote the development of high-end and high value-added financial, commercial and trading, logistics and professional services, to make efforts to develop the innovation and technology industries, to nurture emerging industries, establish itself as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, and develop into an international metropolis with enhanced competitiveness.
On 1 July 2017, Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, witnessed the signing of the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Co-operation in the Development of the Bay Area by representatives of the NDRC, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. As part of the Framework Agreement, a number of key areas were designated as co-operation priorities, including promoting infrastructure connectivity, enhancing market integration, developing a global technology and innovation hub, establishing a modern industry network through coordinated development, jointly nurturing a high-quality living environment as a model place to live, work and visit, cultivating new resources in the field of international co-operation, and supporting the establishment of major co-operative platforms.
For Hong Kong, its primary aim is to consolidate and enhance its status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre, while strengthening its status as a global offshore renminbi business hub, an international asset management centre and a risk management centre. At the same time, it will also look to promote the development of its professional services sector, bolster its innovative and high-tech industrial sectors and position itself as an international legal and dispute resolution hub for the whole of the Asia-Pacific region.