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Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: A model for China's modernization success


The banks of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 13, 2024. /CFP
The banks of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 13, 2024. /CFP

The banks of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 13, 2024. /CFP

February 18 marks the fifth anniversary of the unveiling of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Development Plan. Over the past five years, cities in the Greater Bay Area have seen significant advancements in transportation, customs efficiency, and trade.

The GBA is one of the most economically open and vibrant areas in China.

Guangdong, as China's leading economic province, consistently accounts for about 20 percent of the country's total imports and exports. Hong Kong, recognized as a global financial, shipping, and trade nexus, ranks among the most competitive cities internationally. Meanwhile, Macao's status as a free port, with its low-tax regime and extensive trade network, places it among the world's most open economies, as per the WTO.

In 2023, trade of the nine mainland cities in the GBA reached 7.95 trillion yuan ($1.12 trillion), an increase of 0.4 percent, accounting for 19 percent of the total value of imports and exports in the country.

During the Spring Festival holiday, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a strategic infrastructure project within the GBA, saw records broken in daily passenger flows.

The Zhuhai port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge saw over 144,000 inbound and outbound passenger trips made on Tuesday, marking a new high since its opening, official data showed. 

The bridge, as the world's longest bridge-and-tunnel sea crossing, brought tremendous economic opportunities and benefits to the region.

It is also worth mentioning that the Greater Bay Area excels in global patent rankings, leading in tech sectors like electronics, software, and pharmaceuticals amidst other evolving global industries, further developing as a pivotal innovation hub.

At the 2023 Global Investment Promotion Conference in Guangzhou, 859 projects secured 2.24 trillion yuan in investments. Combined with 2022's 2.5 trillion yuan, the area has attracted nearly 5 trillion yuan just through these two events.

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