Hong Kong and other neighbouring cities are expected to eventually reap economic rewards from the Shenzhen subway, with the retail and real estate sectors looking to be primary beneficiaries. 'In the short-term, I can only see benefits for Shenzhen,' said Yan Jia, an assistant professor with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Department of Logistics. 'In the longer term, say in five to 10 years, if the city becomes more prosperous as a result of the subway, the economic growth could indirectly benefit the neighbouring regions.' The installation of a subway system was usually synonymous with job creation, higher incomes and improved consumer sentiment, he said. This would eventually filter down to cities such as Hong Kong, which already benefited from a steady influx of mainland visitors. Dr Yan added that a better-connected Shenzhen would only continue to lure Hong Kong retail operators and property developers, many of whom already had projects in Shenzhen. He expected the real estate and retail sectors to benefit the most from the subway as it provided convenience and savings to people eager to shop and spend. Property values could also rise as the city's transportation network expanded. 'In the past, Hong Kong had a positive economic effect on the Pearl River Delta region. Now, if Shenzhen grows to become a wealthy city, it could do the same for Hong Kong,' Dr Yan added. Although analysts generally do not see any direct impact from the subway on Hong Kong's economy, a better transport network would offer mutual benefits. Ben Kwong Man-bun, a director of the financial group KGI Asia, said: 'It's a dynamic between the two cities because an improved transportation infrastructure in Shenzhen may attract overseas and mainland tourists, who may also then decide to visit Hong Kong.' The potential downside is, of course, the subway's competitors. 'In Shenzhen, the public buses are government-owned, so their business is safe. However, taxi companies are privately owned and operated and they could face problems as more people opt for the subway instead,' Dr Yan said.