Category Archives: Industries

Guangzhou South hub details released

Guangzhou unveiled today a detailed land plan for its new 1 trillion-yuan economic hub around the Guangzhou South Railway Station, with nine railway lines to be connected and a high-rise of 350 meters to be constructed. 

The “South Station Area” is being jointly developed by Guangzhou and Foshan, aimed at attracting companies from Hong Kong and Macau. In developing the “world’s best railway station”, the 36 sq km project will house s population of 335,000 and include 184 public service and municipal transportation facilities. A dozen old villages in the area will be completely renovated.  

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HK, Shenzhen to get another joint port facility

Hong Kong and Shenzhen will have a second joint border-crossing facility operational by 2002, once the Huanggang-Lok Ma Chau port is renovated, according to officials. This follows the example of the West Kowloon train station, where customs and immigration facilities from both sides are housed inside the same building.

A temporary inspection site is expected to be open by late January next year, shortly after the Lunar New Year holidays, but it will only be able to handle 30,000 daily passengers. Once the permanent facility is ready, the number will reach 200,000. At present, it handles around 80,000, and at the peak, around 100,000. 

Cargo will no longer run through this port, however, as the recently opened Liantang port to the east had eased demand for trucking facilities. The new port will have a range of other facilities, and will be part of a major project in the area designed to boost collaboration between Shenzhen and Hong Kong companies engaged in science and technology innovation.

Read more (in Chinese)

Shenzhen to open more SE Asian flights

Shenzhen’s airport is expected to open four new routes next month that will boost its international passenger throughput to more than 5 million this year. They are to destinations in Southeast Asia: Jeju, in South Korea; Penang, in Malaysia; Phu Quoc island in Vietnam; and Batam island, in Indonesia. 

Although the airport’s international traffic is still much smaller than neighboring Hong Kong’s, it is well known that Shenzhen has ambitions to catch up. International traffic will account for around 10% of its total 50 million throughput this year, but it has been accelerating with the opening of at least 10 new routes over the past three years.

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Yantian unveils upgrade masterplan

Shenzhen’s main port area of Yantian was featured on GBI recently for what seemed to be an interesting plan: the city had leased some land to a developer to build a tourism project based on the processing and packaging of food that was being imported through the port. Now the masterplan has indeed been released, with local media gushing about it.

In true official style, the plan is based on a strategy that is full of jargon. It is a “full domain + full season” tourism development plan, which aims to build a “livable, industrial, tourist-innovative, modern, international coastal area.” 

With tourism as the “core development focus,” this approach will “realize the organic integration of tourism and culture, sports, commerce and trade, industry, transportation, health, and other industries, and effectively link all enterprises to promote each other’s development.”

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GBA financial integration seen as priority

The Greater Bay Area is where cross-border fund flows are growing the fastest, and where future development potential is the strongest. This is why the provincial government is focused on supporting deeper integration of the financial industry in Hong Kong and Macau with Guangdong, says a senior provincial official.

He Xiaojun, director of the Guangdong Local Financial Supervision Bureau, says cross-border fund flows within the GBA accelerated this year to reach 14.08 trillion yuan. No comparison with the previous period was given, although He added that Guangdong had 248 listed companies in Hong Kong, and their cross-border settlement activity had helped to boost fund flows.

Speaking at the Greater Bay Area Financial Development Forum in Guangzhou, He said that, as of the end of September, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme had registered transactions in the same period worth 8.4 trillion yuan. Net inflow of cross-border funds was 151.89 billion yuan. 

“The financial allocation capabilities and influence of the Greater Bay Area have been further enhanced,” He said, adding that the growth rate of major financial indicators in the banking, securities and futures, and insurance markets was higher than the national average.

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Railways, bridges update: more speed, less haste

Will Hong Kong one day be cut out of the Greater Bay Area’s one-hour “life circle”? It might sound like an absurd suggestion, but when plans are scrutinized more carefully for a proposed new link between Shenzhen and Zhuhai, it is easy to indulge such paranoid thinking. 

This week, both city governments released updates on the so-called Deep Bay project, which runs through the Lingdingyang Channel, professing their support for it. This link would allow the eastern and western sides of the Bay to be within half an hour of each other, bypassing Hong Kong.

On the other hand, plans for a second high-speed railway line running from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, via Dongguan and Shenzhen, suggest Hong Kong will be drawn ever-more tightly into the Bay’s transport network. This one might even be running Maglev trains at 600km/h.

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Huizhou, Shenzhen combine port operations

Here is a good story about Greater Bay Area integration that is working, and delivering results. Huizhou has a deepwater port with significant potential. Shenzhen has container traffic that it needs to manage better, as its existing ports at Yantian and Shekou are running at high capacity utilization. Putting their management together makes sense, and that is what they have done. 

They are calling it the “Huiyan Combination Port” operation. It essentially involves closer collaboration between the Yantian and Huizhou container terminal, which enables streamlined customs declarations and inspection procedures for Huizhou Port, and improves handling procedures for loading and unloading international vessels in Yantian Port. 

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Guangzhou sees future in blockchain

The provincial capital is not often thought of as a financial center. It doesn’t have a stock exchange of its own, and financial services comprise less than one-tenth of GDP. This contrasts with Hong Kong and Shenzhen, where financial services contribute roughly twice as much (19%-20%) to GDP. Guangzhou, instead, has traditionally been known as an industrial powerhouse, dominated by state-owned enterprises in heavy industries and SMEs in export-oriented manufacturing.

Yet Guangzhou’s ambitions for developing financial services should not be underestimated. This is especially as the Nansha special economic zone is built out in the coming years (see our primer on Nansha, and its World Financial Island in Hengli). That is where a GBA International Bank is being built, and where a new Futures Exchange will be launched, initially trading carbon credits.  

Indeed, Guangzhou is showing that a city doesn’t need to have a stock exchange to make its financial sector go. And with the rise of fintech, it remains to be seen how the entire industry will be shaken up to the point where traditional financial institutions and trading platforms will matter less than they do now.

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Guangzhou names top 50 ‘Cultural Companies’

Guangzhou has big plans for its cultural industries, judging by a two-month-long festival that launched this week at the city’s Grand Theater.

The opening event of the 2019 Canton Cultural Industry Fair saw a flurry of deal-signing, as these events usually do, with 17 major project agreements inked. The biggest of these was between the Huadu District government and the Lixin Group, to create a Greater Bay “cultural tourism hub” centered on the Guangzhou North Railway Station. It is worth RMB 15 billion, with the first phase set to build a film and television center, an e-sports arena, and various tourism-related services.

Grabbing attention was the release of a list of the city’s top 50 “Cultural Enterprises”. (See full list below.)

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Macau package tours plunge, GGR dips

Visitors on package tours fell 35.7% in September, latest official data shows. This was despite overall visitation rising by 8%, indicating a big shift over to IVS travellers, who come on individual visas. 

Most of the drop came from mainland visitors. Of the 448,000 who came in on package tours, 323,000 were from the mainland, but their number was down 37.6%, probably due to the protests in Hong Kong.

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