Building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was one of the most discussed topics among Chinese people in 2017.
The development plan was first officially brought up in China's government work report in March 2017. It covers 5.6 square km and 60 million people in nine cities and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
On November 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a keynote address at the APEC CEO Summit that China will continue to explore new mechanisms and pathways for achieving coordinated development among regions, and "build world-class city clusters and foster new sources of growth."
In December, the plan was listed as one of the key works on coordinated development of regions at the Central Economic Work Conference.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area enjoys huge advantages. Compared with other such areas, it has the highest density of harbors and airports in the world. Currently among the four largest international bay areas, it has already become top in terms of annual throughput of port containers and airport passengers.
The uniqueness of the Greater Bay Area lies in its diversified institutional environment—it includes two special administrative regions under the one nation, two systems policy, two special economic zones (Shenzhen and Zhuhai), and parts of the Free Trade Zone in Guangdong Province. The interaction of different institutions offers the area unlimited possibilities, making it an attractive destination for global capital and high-caliber personnel.
Through elevating the degree of cooperation and integration among cities and regions, the Greater Bay Area is expected to generate great energy and become an important global hub of innovation, finance, shipping and trade.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in Oriental Outlook December 28, 2017)