China has published a comprehensive set of goals to create a Pearl River Delta Greater Bay Area by integrating nine metropolises in south China – including Hong Kong, Macau and mainland cities Shenzhen and Guangzhou – to create a high-tech cluster to rival California’s Bay Area.
The plan sets out the broader intentions for the integration, such as making the region a global innovation and finance hub and improve infrastructure connectivity between cities, Bloomberg reports.
It goes on to detail more specific targets, such as establishing a “Belt and Road” fund in Hong Kong and setting up R&D centres in priority industries including nano materials and communications technology.
The four cities at the core of the plan are already a sizeable economic force, but the latest proposal could transform the region into a global powerhouse, said analysts at HSBC. The bank estimates that the area would become a trillion-dollar economy and one of the world’s top export hubs under the new plan.
China’s Greater Bay Area plans have met resistance from some in Hong Kong and Macau amid fears that the autonomous cities’ legal, monetary and political systems will fall further under Beijing’s jurisdiction. The latest plan did not mention which customs and legal systems will be given preference.