The release of the long-anticipated blueprint for China’s “Greater Bay Area” opens a new chapter in development. By laying out a clear timetable and a road map to integrate Hong Kong, Macau and nine other southern cities into an economic powerhouse, we are a step closer to achieving the grand vision of turning the region into a cluster of world-class cities for work, leisure and more. It is important that we seize the opportunity on the basis of “one country, two systems” to work towards the greater good of the nation and city. The regional development directions in the 56-page document are the most comprehensive yet from the central government, covering innovation and technology, infrastructural connectivity, industrial development, ecological conservation, the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and bring that extra quality to living, working and travelling. Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou will make use of their respective strengths to expedite regional growth. The target is to have a framework in shape by 2022, and an innovation-based economy with a world-class quality of life by 2035. Ambitious as it sounds, steady progress has been made in recent years, well before the blueprint was revealed on Monday. Hong Kong leader rejects autonomy fears over Greater Bay Area plan Close cooperation among local governments is needed to flesh out more concrete measures and requires a change in the long-standing mindset that Hong Kong is superior to its neighbours. To presume the city will take the lead in every aspect of regional development appears to be unrealistic in today’s context. The blueprint seeks to leverage on the strengths of the four core cities and, instead of just asking what Hong Kong can gain from it, we can attain higher common goals by complementing each other. No less important is the need to better engage the people. Previously, measures such as offering greater access to the mainland market tended to benefit only businesses and professionals. Individual citizens now also need to gain, and measures to make living and working on the mainland easier for Hongkongers should be encouraged. Calls to reduce cross-border telecoms charges and to introduce a single transport payment system, such as that offered by the city’s Octopus card, should also be heeded. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor yesterday brushed aside worries that the city will lose its autonomy in planning and development. But how to bridge the social and economic divide in the region without compromising our fundamentals and unique position will be a major challenge. The development strategy will not just affect the future of Hong Kong, but also that of the region, the country and beyond. The world is watching how the city’s formula of one country, two systems can make the Greater Bay Area a success story for China.