FOR OVE Arup & Partners, Macau projects could be a stepping stone into the western Pearl River Delta. The firm already has a presence in Guangzhou and the eastern Pearl River Delta, but the west had yet to be explored, director George Chan said. 'When Macau needs to expand, it has to expand into Zhuhai. Reclamation is a solution, but there is only so much land Macau can reclaim.' Arup has started initial talks with the Venetian on the casino group's plans to build convention centres on Hengqin, the largest island in Zhuhai, neighbouring Macau. Mr Chan said Guangzhou had expanded towards its western periphery with the development of the Nansha district. Overall development in Guangdong was now going to shift to its west side. 'All you need to look at is the transport infrastructure that will bring the flow of people to Zhuhai and Macau,' he said, referring to the Beijing-Zhuhai highway. The rail link should be completed in 2007. Construction of a Guangzhou-Zhuhai railway, that will connect the two cities by a 45-minute train ride, will start soon. 'A flourishing Macau will benefit its neighbouring cities, similar to the relationship between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.'