Hong Kong is well known as a world financial center; Shenzhen is well known as China’s “Silicon Valley” because of its innovation and startup culture; Guangzhou is known for its manufacturing industry and as a logistics hub; and Macau and Zhuhai are known for leisure and tourism.
A more integrated and open GBA allows for the further development of these industries. Hong Kong will tap Into Shenzhen’s booming innovation and start-up ecosystem while retaining Hong Kong’s strong legal system and business environment.
As an international city with a highly developed professional service industry and RMB convertibility, Hong Kong can assist Chinese companies to achieve these global ambitions, just as it has traditionally assisted international companies in achieving their ambitions in mainland China.
If the initiative develops according to plan, the region will be transformed from “The Factory of the World” to a dynamic hub of innovation and services with a GDP of US$4.62 trillion by 2030. This could mean the Pearl River Delta overtaking rival bay areas in Tokyo, New York, and San Francisco to become the biggest in the world in terms of GDP.
The Strategic Role of Hong Kong
The National Development and Reform Commission recently revealed 40 initiatives aimed at empowering Shenzhen as a pilot zone for further economic reform. Many of the initiatives, including becoming more market-oriented, opening itself to greater foreign investment, and building up its financial and capital markets as well as legal and arbitration services, are areas of strength for Hong Kong.
“The Bay Area will give fresh momentum to Hong Kong’s economy. It will also provide new policy opportunities to improve the city’s quality of life,” Carrie Lam said earlier.
In addition to its leadership positions in financial service, trade, and investment, Hong Kong will also act as an engine in education and talent development, especially talents who can bridge the East and West. Now there are five universities in Hong Kong that are being ranked within the top 100 by various rankings. The establishment of the GBA Business School, a new age state of the art one, will play a role in offering the required knowledge, building practitioners’ social network, and acting as a change agent in the business community of Hong Kong as well as in the Area.