Category Archives: Industries

Zhuhai mayor speaks out on Line 18

Zhuhai’s Mayor, Yao Yisheng, turned a few heads at the Guangdong provincial congress’ media session yesterday when he called out to Guangzhou’s deputy mayor, saying “I want to connect with you!”

He was not referring to their personal guanxi, of course, but to the stalled plan for Guangzhou’s Line 18 to be extended further southwards once it opens in Nansha later this year. Zhuhai and Zhongshan have been eagerly awaiting news of progress on the line, which has not been forthcoming since around September last year, according to local media.

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Intercity railway could run between three GBA airports

Chen Rugui, Shenzhen’s mayor, would not have said this without clearing it with someone higher up, so we have to assume that it’s being taken seriously: The GBA’s intercity railway network could be redesigned to run across the border to Hong Kong, linking all three of the region’s major international airports. Or, a new high-speed railway could be built, which would make travel time between the three nodes even faster.

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InvestHK upbeat on Fintech Salon and Fintech Week

As the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) gets under way in Hong Kong today, the government’s investment-promotion agency, InvestHK, is banging the drum about the city’s potential in fintech, announcing that it has set November 2-6 for the next edition of Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020.

The event will be held again at the AsiaWorld Expo next to the airport, which is more spacious, suggesting the agency expects growth in the number of exhibitors this year. Last year’s Fintech Week drew more than 12,000 attendees, up about 50 per cent from the figure in the previous year, and there were 150 exhibitors and 18 trade delegations. That performance was somewhat surprising, given that it happened amid the Hong Kong protests, which had been keeping business visitors away from Hong Kong.

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Guangdong puts SMEs on blockchain

Guangdong has launched an innovative new SME financing and regulatory system built on blockchain technology, in which companies may register their assets, liabilities and transactions in real time with a wide range of government departments and, in return, gain easier access to credit from banks and other financial institutions.

“Guangdong’s battle against financial risks has been strengthened as powerful weapons have been added,” Li Tengfei, deputy director of the Guangdong Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau, was quoted as saying by local media.

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Guangzhou Pharma sets up global HQ in Macau

Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Group, a major player in China’s drugs industry, has announced it is investing US$200 million into establishing its international headquarters in Macau.

The company’s chairman, Li Chuyuan, gave a speech today at a launch ceremony attended by many of Macau’s political and business elite. He pointed out that the new venture “Combines the resources of Guangdong and Macau together in an innovative collaboration of systems and mechanisms.”

The company is being positioned as the “external window” of Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals’ business, to “accelerate the group’s internationalization”. Sources suggested its focus will be on markets in the Lusophone community of Portuguese-speaking countries.

Macau’s Secretary for Finance and Economy, Lei Wai Nong, said the project will support the Guangdong-Macau Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park. Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals is expected to introduce new drug research and development there.

Macau says Hengqin Port ready in Q1

The new Hengqin Port was supposed to have opened on December 20, the same day as Macau’s 20th anniversary celebrations, but it appears that it will be ready only sometime in the first quarter. Macau’s new Secretary for Administration and Justice, Andre Chong, announced that work on the new facility was ongoing, and specific legislation still needs to be passed by the Legislative Assembly to govern how the Macau side of the port will be operated.

The good news is, however, that the Macau government is already planning to license tourist buses to go across the Lotus Bridge and pick up passengers there once the port is ready. It was not made clear whether this includes shuttle buses operated by the Macau casinos, or only coaches run by tourist agencies. The current situation at the Macau side of the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge (HZMB) has two joint-service shuttles to take visitors to designated spots (at the two ferry terminals) for transfer to casino shuttles, while non-casino tour buses run freely.

The current single shuttle bus running between Hengqin and the existing Macau immigration facility at the Macau side of the Lotus Bridge is obviously not going to be good enough once the new Hengqin Port opens, as its new high-speed railway station will bring in a flood of new arrivals. The question is only whether the casinos will be able to run their own shuttles or will be forced to share a publicly run service. The new problem-plagued LRT system has not yet been extended out to the Hengqin Port, so buses are the only mode of transport for the foreseeable future.

‘Insurance Connect’ delays; GBA integration goes on

The eagerly awaited “Insurance Connect” scheme remains on hold, with no indication of when it might be launched. However, Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority (IA) and the central government’s China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) are inching forward with cross-border initiatives to spur integration within the Greater Bay Area.

This was made apparent by comments from senior officials and executives at recent forums, in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Most prominent of these were speeches given by IA chairman Moses Cheng Mo-chi and CBIRC Chief Counsel Liu Fushou. 

Speaking at the Asian Insurance Forum in Hong Kong on December 10, Liu said that the key would be to establish regional regulatory mechanisms for insurance institutions to operate across the GBA. “Our next step is to facilitate the set-up of insurance institutions in the GBA through various approaches, particularly to help those with the expertise and features suited for GBA development.”  

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Publicly traded bond debuts in Macau

Zhuhai’s biggest state-owned conglomerate, Huafa Group, has just given Macau a vote of confidence, becoming the first non-Macau company to issue a publicly traded bond on the city’s nascent exchange. 

Huafa group announced the successful issue at the weekend, saying it is the first publicly offered bond registered and issued by the Macau Financial Assets Exchange (MOX).

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Intercity Railway officially opens, at last

One of the biggest infrastructure projects in the GBA, Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway, also known as the Suishen Raiway, officially opened to the public on Sunday after repeatedly delaying its launch over technical issues, according to Southern Daily. 

The 74-km railway, with 11 years of construction, was initially set to open on National Day and later postponed to November 1. The trains run from Guangzhou East Station in the capital’s Tianhe business district to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport with a highest speed of 146 km/h, although stopping at different sets of stations.

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Shenzhen lays out 2035 transport targets

Shenzhen is building a public transport system with rail transit as its core. By 2035, the end of the GBA masterplan, most residents should need to walk no more than 10 minutes to reach a railway station.  

According to the city’s overall transport development plan, released this week, the combination of Metro, Intercity, and High-Speed Railways should cover more than 1,000 sq km of land by 2035. That is more than three times what it has built to date. 

The eight Metro lines currently under development in the city are the biggest growth phase of the project, and by 2022 at least half of the total network will have been built. Daily passenger flow is at a maximum of around 6.5 million.  

Intercity rail is being given a high priority, too, as many Shenzhen residents are living further from urban clusters due to rising living costs. Last year, about 1.36 million trips were made from Shenzhen to neighboring Dongguan and Huizhou, but this is expected to increase to 6.2 million per day by 2035.  

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