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Greater Bay Area

Blueprint for Greater Bay Area development plan could come as soon as September

Chief liaison officer of the Shenzhen Quanhai Authority says details will likely be announced by the National Development and Reform Commission

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 9:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 10:58pm

The central government could release a blueprint for it’s Greater Bay Area development in the Pearl River Delta by September, a top official has said.

“From my understanding, a proper planning outline will be released before the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party, around September to November,” said Witman Hung, chief liaison officer for Hong Kong for the Shenzhen Quanhai Authority.

“The various places submitted their proposals (to the Central government) in June, like Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangdong province,” said Hung, adding that the National Development and Reform Commission will likely announce the plans.

Hung was speaking at a forum on the Greater Bay Area on Friday.

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Details of the Greater Bay Area plan have been patchy and it remains largely in the “concept sage”, even after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor signed an agreement with mainland and Macau officials on the “cooperation framework” on July 1.

The Greater Bay Area idea was introduced by Premier Li Keqiang to develop nine cities in Guangdong province along with Hong Kong and Macau into a world class cluster for technology and business.

“In the coming months, the National Development and Reform Commission would lay out the policies and directions for Greater Bay Area cities, such as how Hong Kong would cooperate with Shenzhen and Guangzhou,” John Siu, managing director of real estate consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield Hong Kong, said at the same forum.

“The most important point is the distribution of the industries. For example, will the airports in Guangzhou and Hong Kong cooperate and ‘be the two legs that walk’? The issue is that when both expand ... the coordination needs to be better.”

Part of this is already happening. The civil aviation authorities from Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland signed an agreement on Thursday to improve cooperation over air traffic flow management in the Pearl River Delta, and to hold biannual meetings and regular exchange visits.

Dr Chan Man-hung, director of the Belt and Road research centre at Zhuhai College, said he is concerned Hong Kong officials may not be too keen on cooperation with the region.”

In the government’s 2030 plus blueprint for Hong Kong’s future, there is hardly anything on cooperation with the Greater Bay Area,” said Chan, who had been doing economic research on the Pearl River Delta for more than 20 years.

Chan also said the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China’s global strategy which aims to build major infrastructure in many developing counties in Asia, Africa and Europe, will help to create huge demand for the products made in the Greater Bay Area.