After nearly a year of operation, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) is now well-established as the final piece of the “ring” enclosing the Greater Bay Area’s 11 cities. This being the region that never sits still, therefore, it’s time to look at what comes next for other major projects linking the eastern and western sides of the Greater Bay.
Guangzhou’s Conghua has welcomed the establishment of a series of “romantic industry” projects, which the district government hopes will inject new vitality into the more rural part of the city known for its hot springs.
Perhaps the most intriguing of these for prospective newlyweds is a project calling itself the province’s first “one-stop wedding service demonstration base”. Offering venues for both Chinese and Western wedding ceremonies, including group weddings, the complex has a wide range of on-site services available, including photography and marriage registration. It also has post-wedding services, i.e., for honeymoons, which it refers to as “wedding tourism”.
Guangdong is receiving credit for being the fastest in the country to relax purchase restrictions on vehicles, and the first to introduce promotions for sales. Not surprisingly, it is showing up in improving output figures. Guangzhou Auto led the charge, with sales up 6.1% YoY and 50.5% over March. Here’s how the big guns are looking so far in the recovery period:
Guangzhou Customs has created – and patented – the country’s first “mobile integrated biosafety shelter”. It went into operation at Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport on May 6. The shelter, which is built as a collection of pod-like cabins, each shaped like a typical prefab office space, has been established under the “National Key R&D Program” of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The cabins can be added to or subtracted from, like Lego building blocks, for different usage scenarios across a wide range of port types, whether they be at sea, land or airports. They will also be widely used at medical institutions and isolated observation points.
The square cabin is 12 meters long, 3.5 meters wide, and 3 meters high. It is pressurized, and reaches biosafety level 2 (P2) or higher. Customs officers can safely carry out quarantine work such as epidemiological investigation, sample collection, case observation, and rapid testing in the cabin, processing five passengers at a time. SCN.
Guangdong has announced it is speeding up the deployment of its infrastructure investment plans for this year, while adding another 100 billion yuan to build new projects related to public health, 5G networks, and railway transportation.
The new plan, announced yesterday by the Provincial Development and Reform Commission, reiterated that Guangdong would proceed with work on no fewer than 1,230 key projects this year, worth a total of 5.9 trillion yuan, which would generate spending of 800 billion yuan in the current calendar year; about three-fourths of these are construction projects.
The announcement paid particular attention to the province’s inter-city high-speed railway, which it said has “room for improvement”. However, what really distinguishes the current year’s investment plan is the rollout of 5G networks. Guangdong expects to have built 50,000 5G base stations by the end of the third quarter, and 60,000 by the end of the year with the number of 5G users in Guangdong reaching 20 million.
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Dongguan’s Metro Line 1 extension project has begun work. The crucial project, which passes through Dalang, Huangjiang, Zhangmutou, and Tangxia, will link the city’s towns and townships more closely with Shenzhen and will also bring the Songshan Lake high-tech district into the urban transport network.
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.
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.
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.
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.