The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area or simply Greater Bay Area (GBA), is a megalopolis, consisting of 9 cities and 2 special administrative regions in south China
The future of the Greater Bay Area, or GBA, over time has been decided through agreements such as the one signed by the National Development and Reform Commission and the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in July 2017. The plan includes objectives to short term up to 2022 and longer-term objectives up to 2035.
The purpose of these agreements is to transform the GBA into a global technological innovation center, accelerating infrastructure connectivity, building advanced manufacturing industries and modern services. The idea is, therefore, to create a cluster of world-class cities through collaboration and integration.
The plan aligns one of China’s most robust and dynamic regions with the country’s long-term economic priorities
There are many expectations about the growth of the GBA and these are justified. In 2018, for example, the GBA had a GDP of 1.64 trillion dollars, bringing it ahead of South Korea (1.62 trillion dollars) which ranked 12th in the world.
Even assuming a nominal average conservative annual growth rate of 7%, the GBA’s GDP could exceed that of the United Kingdom and France by about 2035, making it the sixth-largest after Germany. However, to do this, we need goods, people and information, and better integration of different legal systems
The GBA needs a global plan and strong political support to reach its full potential
The promotion of innovation, collaboration and acceleration of infrastructure connectivity are seen as key means to achieve these goals. Moreover, infrastructure connectivity is the key to preventing the collapse of a megacity under its own weight and takes a long time to build.
Unlike other existing bay areas or metropolitan cities, the GBA needs to integrate more legal and social systems to become a real cluster of cities. It is therefore essential that the plan pays considerable attention to overcoming physical, social and regulatory boundaries to promote freer cross-border flows of people, goods, services, capital and information, preserving the “one country, two systems” principle.
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