The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) project is a national strategy by the Chinese government to link nine cities in the Guangdong Pearl River Delta Economic Zone (PRD) with Hong Kong and Macao. The GBA aims to be a/an:
Innovation will form the foundation of GBA’s economy and development model. To develop the GBA into an International Technology Innovation Centre, the relevant authorities have announced plans to explore policy initiatives on cross border movement of talents, capital, information and technologies.
Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macao have been designated as the core cities of the GBA.
Specifically, Guangzhou will take on a leading role as the regional administrative centre. Shenzhen will spearhead innovation development and leverage its unique status as a Special Economic Zone to experiment with new reforms. Hong Kong will be the international finance, trade, and transport hub for the GBA, while Macao will be an international tourism city and a platform for enhanced trade and investments with Portuguese-speaking countries.
Of the remaining PRD cities, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan and Dongguan are identified to develop strengths in high-tech sectors such as advanced manufacturing, as these four cities bordering the first-tier cities have traditional strengths in the manufacturing industries. In addition, Guangzhou and Foshan; Macao and Zhuhai; and Hong Kong and Shenzhen, have been paired as regional sub-clusters to accelerate integration and development of the GBA.
Guangdong is China’s most populous province and has had the highest GDP among Chinese provinces for the past 32 years. Traditionally, Guangdong is one of China’s key testbeds for economic liberalisation and continues to be one of the key economic hubs in China. Guangdong also remains as one of China’s key manufacturing bases, with the secondary industry taking up about 39.2% of Guangdong’s economy in 2020. Key industrial outputs include (a) electronics; (b) automobiles; (c) home appliances; (d) textile and furniture; and (e) petrochemicals and steel.
Over the past decade, Guangdong has been transforming its economy, with efforts aimed at upgrading its manufacturing industry, and growing its services and innovation sectors. Guangdong is the headquarters of a strong base of reputable Chinese enterprises, including (a) white goods manufacturers such as Midea (Foshan); Galanz (Foshan) and Gree (Zhuhai); (b) leading telecommunication equipment companies such as Huawei (Shenzhen) and ZTE (Shenzhen); (c) internet giant Tencent (Shenzhen); (d) leading Chinese real estate Vanke (Shenzhen); and Global Fortune 500 insurance company Ping’an (Shenzhen).
Singapore companies operate in various sectors across Guangdong, with majority of them concentrated in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Singapore companies in Guangdong include: Aztech, CapitaLand, Keppel Data Centres, NCS, and RSI International Consultants.
Hong Kong is one of the most developed services economies in the world. Its key services sectors include trade and logistics, financial and other professional services, and tourism. It has also traditionally been a key intermediary for Mainland China’s trade and investment with the rest of the world.
Singapore companies in Hong Kong include: Ascott, DBS, Invictus School, Irvins, OCBC, and SATS.
Fujian’s economic hub is made up of the four cities of Fuzhou (provincial capital), Xiamen, Quanzhou, and Zhangzhou.
Fujian aims to promote industrial restructuring and upgrading through adopting innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting the clustering of high-end industries, and developing modern services. Emphasis will also be placed on the integration of urban and rural development to develop Fujian as a sustainable and liveable place through environmental protection and digitisation of information.
Fujian’s Free Trade Zone (FTZ), established in 2015, will see a concentration of some of these developments. The Fujian FTZ comprises the following areas, each with its own sectors of focus:
Singapore companies present in Fujian include: Bee Cheng Hiang, Camel Nuts, Crestar Kinderland, Luzerne, Mapletree, OCBC, PSA, ST Aerospace, and UOB.
Hainan, a tropical island off China’s southern coast, was designated as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 1988. Agriculture and tourism are its key sectors.
Hainan has been designated as China’s first and only Free Trade Port (FTP). As China’s FTP, Hainan will be a pilot zone for further opening up, with reforms relating to freer movement of goods, capital and people.
Singapore companies present in Hainan include: Ascott, Jinghope Holdings, Mapletree, Oceanus Group, and Yanlord Land Group.
Central China comprises Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi, with Hubei as the most economically developed province.
Hubei is an important agricultural and industrial base in China. The province enjoys an advantage over neighbouring provinces in logistics and transportation as its capital city Wuhan, known as the “connecting hub of nine provinces”, is a major commerce, distribution and transport centre along the Yangtze River. Traditionally known as China’s heavy industry base, Hubei’s key industries include automotive, iron and steel, electric power, electronics and information technology, petrochemicals, food and tobacco, textiles and equipment and heavy machinery.
Singapore companies in Hubei include: CapitaLand, Mapletree, and ZWEEC.