Co­op­er­a­tion vi­tal to build thriv­ing bay area

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Big Bay Area city clus­ter has topped $1.36 tril­lion, out­run­ning the San Fran­cisco Bay area,” Wei said.

Cai Guan­shen, chair­man of Hong Kong-based Sun­wah Group, added that by 2025, “the to­tal GDP of the Greater Bay Area is ex­pected to out­rank the Tokyo Bay Area”, top­ping $2.5 tril­lion, and will be dou­ble that num­ber in 20 years.

The Frame­work Agree­ment on Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Co­op­er­a­tion in the Devel­op­ment of the Bay Area was signed ear­lier this month, ad­dress­ing key co­op­er­a­tion ar­eas in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, mar­ket in­te­gra­tion, fu­el­ing in­no­va­tion and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life.

To achieve fur­ther pros­per­ity in the re­gion, he said bay area lead­ers should en­hance the ex­ist­ing co­op­er­a­tion with the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) and make big­ger use of the lead­ing po­si­tions of Hong Kong, Guang­dong and Ma­cao.

“The bay area also de­vel­ops faster than others, and we need to learn from the estab­lished bay ar­eas from (around) the world,” Wei said. “The PPRD can pro­vide solid sup­port for the big bay area strat­egy with its abun­dant la­bor, tal­ent pool, mar­ket and ma­te­ri­als. While the PPRD can trans­fer its in­dus­tries, tech­nol­ogy and skilled work­ers into the bay area, Hong Kong, Guang­dong and Ma­cao can act as lead­ers to lift the econ­omy in the PPRD up with its ad­van­tages.”

Wei said cities with vigor and vi­tal­ity such as Shen­zhen and Dong­guan can fur­ther drive de­mand while Guangzhou and Hong Kong can push the ser­vice in­dus­try for­ward. He sug­gested the area can host more in­ter­na­tional art fes­ti­vals, pro­mote its tourism and fash­ion in­dus­tries, turn­ing the area into a world-class city clus­ter of high-end de­sign.

The Guang­dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Big Bay Area is also a win­dow to the Chi­nese cul­ture, show­cas­ing the coun­try’s soft power, as it com­bines unique folk cul­ture of Hakka-speak­ing peo­ple, the Chaozhou-Shan­tou re­gion, known for over­seas Chi­nese, Hong Kong and Ma­cao.

How­ever, Wei pointed out, there are still hur­dles to over­come in the process of build­ing a top-notch big bay area.

Dur­ing past at­tempts to co­op­er­ate with the PPRD, he said, the cities only minded their own busi­ness in­stead of aim­ing for a com­mon goal, some­times re­fus­ing to push the in­dus­trial trans­fer to lower-grade cities.

“We need to in­no­vate in the eco­nomic sys­tem that can work in Hong Kong, Ma­cao and Guang­dong, where two types of eco­nomic sys­tems are ap­plied,” Wei said. “And we also need to make use of each other’s ad­van­tages.”

Hong Kong, as an im­por- tant post of the bay area, should play a big­ger role in the world’s econ­omy rather than just as a bridge be­tween China and the rest of the world, since China has al­ready be­come the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

“Hong Kong has been cru­cial for the main­land’s eco­nomic growth and its open­ing-up to the world,” he said. “The past 20 years has seen boom­ing pros­per­ity in both the main­land and Hong Kong, es­pe­cially af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of CEPA (Closer Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment) in 2004. “Trade be­tween the two has in­creased more than six-fold since 1996, leapfrog­ging from $40.7 bil­lion an­nu­ally to $305 bil­lion in 2016,” he said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at renx­i­ao­jin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Wei Jian­guo, vice-pres­i­dent of the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes

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