After 40 years of reform and development, Shenzhen has basically established a comprehensive transportation system and an urban traffic operation system.
Shenzhen Port is a collective name of a number of ports along parts of the coastline of Shenzhen. It has become a pivotal port for international containers. In 2018, its container throughput grew by 2.09 percent to reach 25,735,900 TEUs, which was rated fourth globally. It has a total of 223 international container routes. Shenzhen Port can be divided into "two wings, six areas, and three main ports." "Two wings" includes the eastern and western port groups. "Six areas" refers to Yantian and Dapeng port areas in the east, and Nanshan, Dachan Bay, Dachan Island and Xiaochan Island, and Bao'an port areas in the west. "Three main ports" refers to the three main ports in Yantian, Nanshan and Dachan Bay which focus on container transportation. Shenzhen Port has 75 berths for vessels with 10,000-ton deadweight (DWT) and above, and 25 international sister ports.
Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport is a modern and international cruise homeport, which is capable of mooring the world's largest cruise vessels. The terminal was inaugurated in November 2016. In 2018, the homeport berthed a total of 178 international cruise vessels and saw a growth of 93 percent in outbound and inbound tourists.
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport is positioned as an international aviation hub by the country. In 2018, the airport's passenger throughput grew 8.2 percent to reach 49,349,200 million; its cargo throughput grew 5.1 percent to reach 1,218,500 tons. By the end of 2018, a total of 46 airlines had had operations at the Shenzhen airport, with flights reaching 168 cities around the globe. It has opened new flights to 15 international destinations including London and Paris. The number of international tourists increased by 34 percent.
Shenzhen is an important hub in the national railway system. With the operation of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) and Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway, a railway layout in the shape of "double cross" has been formed. The total mileage of railway operation reaches 180.48 kilometers, with the XRL reaching 47.8 kilometers, Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway 46.48 kilometers, Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway 24 kilometers, Pingnan Railway 41.5 kilometers and Pingyan Railway 20.7 kilometers. Currently the city has two main railway stations, namely Shenzhen Railway Station and Shenzhen North Railway Station, and three complementary railway stations including Shenzhen East Railway Station, Futian Railway Station and Pingshan Railway Station.
Since the official operation of the XRL on Sept. 23, 2018, it only takes 14 minutes from the city center of Shenzhen to Kowloon in Hong Kong. The one-hour living circle between Shenzhen and Hong Kong has been formed.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Technology Innovation Special Cooperation Zone
Shenzhen and Hong Kong signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly developing the Lok Ma Chau Loop on Jan. 3, 2017. The two cities will jointly build the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop area and set up scientific research cooperation bases and other supporting facilities. Meanwhile, they will jointly build the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Technology Innovation Special Cooperation Zone, which will strive to become an offshore innovation highland of the country, fuel technological development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, bolster cross-border cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and build an international innovation and cooperation platform.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Exchange and Cooperation
Shenzhen gives full play to its advantages in technological innovation and geographical location. The city focuses on the needs of Shenzhen-Hong Kong youth development, including internship, entrepreneurship, employment and living. It has created innovative and entrepreneurial platforms including Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub. The city has introduced a total of 176 Hong Kong startup teams with the accumulative amount of financing reaching 1.5 billion yuan. It has carried out the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area internship plan for four consecutive years, offering accumulatively over 2,000 internship positions and receiving over 20,000 Hong Kong students for exchange. It has hosted a series of brand events, including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange Day and Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao Youth Cultural Exchange and Art Festival.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation on People's Livelihood
As a pioneering city which serves the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, Shenzhen always pays great attention to and actively pushes forward practical cooperation with Hong Kong in different fields including education and health care. In education, Shenzhen is the first city on the Chinese mainland to release policies which allow children of school age from Hong Kong and Macao to study at local public schools. In health care, the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH), put into use in 2012, is the first public hospital on the Chinese mainland that adopts the Hong Kong management model. Over 9,300 people from Hong Kong have used the medical services at the HKU-SZH under the pilot Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme, which is well-received. C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, the first solely Hong Kong-funded specialized hospital on the Chinese mainland, was opened in 2013, introducing advanced medical technology and mature Hong Kong services to the Chinese mainland. The eye hospital was listed in Hong Kong in 2018.
China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen
The China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen was inaugurated on April 27, 2015. As a crucial part of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Qianhai & Shekou area covers an area of 28.2 square kilometers and includes Qianhai and Shekou. Under the framework of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and based on Shenzhen’s experiences in building an international and market-oriented city ruled by law, the Qianhai & Shekou area will integrate resources in Shenzhen and Hong Kong and solicit resources from across the globe. With the aim of developing finance, logistics, information service, technology, port service, shipping and other emerging industries, the area will support co-development between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and become a producer services center in the Asia-Pacific region as well as an international pivot harbor in the world.
The Qianhai & Shekou area is going to be built into a new city center, according to an overall development plan for the area released by the end of 2018. The area will implement a three-year action plan to build the new city center, emphasizing industry-and-city integration, reduction in quantity and enhancement in quality, the overall development of the mountain and the sea, and a quality living environment. It will push forward a double improvement project of functionality and environment. The construction on major projects including Mawan Cross-Sea Passage started in 2018. The area has focused on cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Over 10,000 Hong Kong enterprises have settled in Qianhai with the total registered capital exceeding 1 trillion yuan, contributing nearly one quarter of the total tax revenue of Qianhai.
In 2018, Qianhai Mercantile Exchange was opened, New China Pension and other headquarter projects settled down, Qianhai SZ-HK Fund Town was put into use, and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub had attracted 31 youth startup teams from Hong Kong and Macao. It has released measures to facilitate the high-quality development of Qianhai, among which 11 institutional innovations were duplicated and promoted nationwide. The achievements of Qianhai have won the recognition of General Secretary Xi Jinping.
Greater Bay Area
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) comprises the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the nine cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. The total area is 56,000 square kilometers and the total population had exceeded 70 million as of the end of 2018. As one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China, the Greater Bay Area plays a significant role in the overall development of the country.
Promoting the development of the Greater Bay Area is a major decision made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. It is a national strategy General Secretary Xi Jinping has masterminded, made decisions about and promoted in person, a new attempt to break new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts in a new era, and a further step in taking forward the practice of "one country, two systems." It is conducive to deepening exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao and is of great significance for Hong Kong and Macao to participate in the national development strategy, enhance their competitiveness and maintain long-term prosperity and stability.
On July 1, 2017, witnessed by President Xi Jinping, the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area was signed. On Feb. 18, 2019, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council unveiled the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. According to the plan, the bay area will be turned into a vibrant world-class city cluster, an international innovation and technology hub, an important support pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative, a showcase for in-depth cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, and a quality living circle for living, working and traveling. Efforts should be made to build on the four core cities of Hong Kong, Macao, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as core engines for regional development.
Shenzhen mainly leverages its leading role as a special economic zone, a national economic core city and a national innovation city, and strives to become a capital of innovation and creativity with global influence.
Shenzhen has taken the lead in deepening business environment reform. It has introduced an array of new policies and regulations to improve its business environment. It now only takes four days to start a business in Shenzhen. The time for customs clearance and registration of foreign businesses has also been reduced by 69 percent and 60 percent, respectively. The time for export tax rebate has been reduced by 20 percent, and 12 real estate registration items are able to be completed in one hour. Approvals of government-funded construction projects, from initial applications to the issuance of permits, are set to be completed within 90 working days. For private investments, the approval deadline is set to be within 33 working days. The optimization of business environment has further injected vitality into innovation and entrepreneurship. By the end of 2018, 290,000 new enterprises had been set up throughout the year, an increase of 11.6 percent. The city had 16 new listed companies and brought in 26 licensed financial institutions in 2018.
The number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises has increased by nearly 1.2 times. The actual utilization of foreign capital increased by 11 percent to US$8.2 billion, and the amount of outward foreign direct investment increased by 118 percent. The trade volume between Shenzhen and the Belt and Road countries and regions grew by 9.9 percent. The Butuka Academy, built as part of a Sister City Partnership between Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Shenzhen, was put into use in 2018. Phase II of the Ramu hydropower project in PNG also picked up pace and Phase I of China-Vietnam (Shenzhen-Hai Phong) economic and trade cooperation zone was completed.
Actively serving the nation's overall diplomacy
In 2018, Shenzhen received 396 important foreign delegations totaling 3,689 guests, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Tadamori Oshima, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Rowley and Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai. Shenzhen has successfully fulfilled the reception work in the aforementioned major foreign affairs events, actively publicized the development and achievements of China's reform and opening up and vigorously cooperated with the country's overall diplomacy.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting
The CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting was successfully held in Shenzhen from May 26 to 28, 2018. The three-day thematic event was developed around "Stories of the CPC — Implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Guangdong," International Seminar on Marxism in the 21st Century and the Future of Socialism in the World, the fourth China-Africa Young Leaders Forum, the second China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Political Parties Forum, and the message of congratulations sent by President Xi Jinping to the symposium that marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. During the thematic event, an exhibition featuring the achievements of Guangdong's reform and opening up in the past 40 years and an exhibition showcasing Shenzhen's scientific and technological innovation achievements were held. A total of 503 leaders of 207 political parties and organizations from 114 countries and regions participated in 23 meetings and more than 20 bilateral talks.
International Friendship Cities
Shenzhen has established friendship city relations or conducted friendly exchanges with 86 cities and regions in 55 countries and regions around the world, including Houston of the United States, Sao Paulo of Brazil, Nuremberg of Germany, Vienne of France, Tsukuba of Japan, Phnom Penh of Cambodia, Brisbane of Australia, and Lome of Togo. Shenzhen has constantly promoted pragmatic cooperation with international friendship cities in the fields of economy and trade, culture, science and technology, and vocational education. It has carried out civil diplomacy, urban diplomacy and public diplomacy in an all-round, multi-level and wide-range way, introduced high-end resources needed for urban development, and continuously pushed its international exchanges to the next level.