LOCAL experts think that Shenzhen should not only actively participate, but also play a leading role in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area.
"The bay area is a new development mode for regional cooperative development, and Shenzhen, as an economic center city in China, should make use of its radiation ability in areas such as institutional innovation," Tan Gang, vice president of Shenzhen Institute of Socialism, was quoted as saying in a Shenzhen Special Zone Daily report yesterday.
Tan, a Guangdong political adviser, had put forward a proposal on the Big Bay Area at the past two years' provincial CPPCC sessions, and he said that it was natural for the Big Bay Area plan to be included in the national strategy.
At the opening meeting of the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) on Sunday, Premier Li Keqiang for the first time mentioned "planning for the city cluster development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area" in the government work report.
Tan's latest research shows that the combined economic scale of Shenzhen and Hong Kong in 2016 was equivalent to that of the San Francisco Bay Area two years ago. "The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area has a typical bay area economy with unique advantages such as the high-tech and advanced manufacturing of Shenzhen, advanced financial services in Hong Kong and trade and logistics in Guangzhou," said Tan.
Shen Yong, a professor at Shenzhen Party School, thought that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area had great potential to become a prosperous bay area due to its overlapping advantages of free ports, special economic zones and free trade areas.
At present, the GDP of bay areas, such as the New York Bay Area, Tokyo Bay Area and San Francisco Bay Area, occupies a large share of national economies overall.
"The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area is most likely to be the engine of China's opening up and the strongest area for technological innovation. It could become the largest city cluster in Asia by surpassing the Tokyo Bay Area," said Shen.
The biggest challenge for the bay area construction is that different cities should break their own interests and administrative restrictions, and establish an economy-guided open system for regional development, according to Tan.
At the ongoing session of the NPC, lawmaker Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, put forward a motion to encourage better collaboration between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in order to turn China's "Bay Area" into a hub for world-leading technology companies.
The concept of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area was envisioned years ago, but Ma said that the timing to spur better synergy has come with the soon-to-open Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
He said that developing a world-leading tech zone requires the integration of hardware, software and service, and that the area has the perfect combination of resources to make better synergies take place, while calling for the Central Government to offer more encouraging policies.
Deputy Zheng Renhao sees Hong Kong as a super liaison to promote cooperation between Guangdong and the rest of the world in technology, high-end talents and research.
Deputy Mai Qingquan, president of Shenzhen Huayu Group, said Qianhai, Shekou, Nansha and Hengqin free trade areas should strengthen cooperation to promote city cluster construction along the banks of the Pearl River. Hong Kong, Macao and the Pearl River Delta cities should be invigorated to enhance their ability to radiate to other cities in Guangdong, thereby creating a new yardstick for China's Bay Area Economy.