October 29, 2018
After eight years of construction, the 55km-long Hong Kong -Zhuhai-Macau bridge is finally in operation. The bridge, which has broken a total of 10 world records, has shortened travel time from Hong Kong or Zhuhai to Macau from four hours to just 30 minutes. Naturally, this has reduced barriers to talent, technology and resources which in turn accelerates China’s economy and generate countless opportunities.
The 2018 Hurun Fortune List was recently announced, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area was once again named the top base for wealth creation. The list shows that among the top 10 richest people in China, entrepreneurs and corporate headquarters have settled in the rich areas of the Greater Bay Area, occupying six of the top ten spots. Among the 1,893 entrepreneurs on the list, 405 are based in Guangdong and 40 in Hong Kong.
This wealth and success can be attributed to the openness and tolerance embedded in the DNA of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, and the economic dynamism resulting from the Greater Bay Area plan by the government. As the planning of the Greater Bay Area matures, the “Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macau” Science and Technology Innovation Corridor is just starting to take flight. With Guangdong’s thriving and diversified market, and well-rounded infrastructure, Shenzhen’s innovative industrial chain, and the unparalleled research and development capabilities and strong connectivity of Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area is accelerating its regional economic engine and developing a sustainable, beneficial eco-system.
Undoubtedly, the first to enjoy the benefits are the residents of the three regions. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge makes daily commute and travel smoother. Transportation of fresh produce from the west bank of the Pearl River to Hong Kong and Macau will be more efficient, Guangdong residents can now take frequent trips to Macau and residents of Macau can reach the Hong Kong International Airport in just 25 minutes. The Y-shaped bridge has indeed created a “one-hour living circle” and will further enhance the market’s confidence in the development of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
The area is like a magnet attracting the attention and ambition of investors. Under their impetus, manufacturing, real estate, financial investment, IT, medicine, social services and other sectors are creating a new round of economic opportunities.
If momentum is sustained, China’s Greater Bay Area could have the makings of San Francisco (SF) Bay Area story. Recent analysis indicated that the SF Bay Area has managed to uphold, even progress, its status as one of the US’ top economies. In San Francisco, households earn close to double the national median household income; the tech hubs in the SF Bay Area remain economically strong; the two metros in and around Silicon Valley rank as the best economies in the country. In just a few years, China’s Greater Bay Area is well on its way to achieving similar prosperity. In fact, its current contribution to national GDP stands at 12% despite only covering 0.5% of China’s total land area.
The launch of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and the Beijing-Hong Kong high-speed rail – which opened last month – proves that regional connectivity and synergy continues to be the economic driving force for success in the Greater China Region. So, what does this mean for companies and brands in and outside of China? Does China’s Greater Bay Area provide international businesses a new and alternative gateway for breaking into the unique Chinese market?
At our first Bay to Bay event happening in Hong Kong on October 31st, we explore the rise of China’s Greater Bay Area, share the perspectives and experiences of those doing business there and examine how the San Francisco and China Bay Areas differ. To find out how you can join in, visit baytobay.com.