As the annual report cards have been read out by each of the GBA’s nine mayors in recent days, it has become clearer that 2019 was much worse for the “little tigers” than for the advanced-manufacturing giants: Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou have been hit harder by the external trade slowdown than Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan. (Zhuhai has been an exceptional case because of Hengqin’s development.)
They and their bosses, the party secretaries, have now all trooped up to Guangzhou for the provincial gatherings, where they must explain to each other what is going on at home. Some are coy. Others, like Zhongshan’s newly installed Party Secretary, Lai Zehua, have chosen to bravely lay out how bad the situation has become, while pledging to catch up with a bold industrial-upgrading plan in the coming years.
Dongguan’s premier tech district, clustered around Songshan Lake and anchored by Huawei’s massive R&D center, put in a sterling performance in 2019, growing 11% YoY, according to local media.
Without giving a number in yuan, the report said Songshan Lake will generate tax revenue of about 16.3 billion yuan, ranking first in Dongguan. Fixed-asset investment of about 23 billion yuan and industrial output of 540 billion yuan were also first in the municipality. Advanced manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing accounted for more than 90% of that output.
Guangzhou’s special economic zone of Nansha has decided to follow a trend among the GBA’s economic growth engines to play down expectations for 2020. Following Dongguan and Shenzhen, which have said they expect growth in 2020 to be several basis points lower than 2019, the region’s fastest-growing major district has said its GDP will grow by only 7.5% in 2020, down sharply from more than 10% in 2019, according to a local media report.
The past year was a good one for Nansha, which has several major construction projects under way. Its GDP was expected to be about 160 billion yuan once official data is released, according to the local government. This would represent 10.3% growth over 2018, a significant surge from 2018’s 6.5% growth.
In the northeast corner of Guangzhou, a vision of the city’s future has been rising for nearly a decade. Thanks to some major investments announced recently, and as the project nears the halfway mark of its original 20-year development plan, an opportune moment has arisen to review its progress. Local media have been gushing about its potential.
Shenzhen Mayor Chen Rugui delivered the city’s preliminary annual Work Report yesterday at the Civic Center in Futian district. It yielded some interesting highlights, with numbers that might sound mind-boggling to Hongkongers. The full report will only come next month, once economic data has been properly audited. Continue reading Shenzhen nails it in 2019→
Zhuhai announced today its new masterplan for technological development, an ambitious blueprint that aims to transform the once-sleepy fishing village on the western side of the Greater Bay Area into a tech powerhouse. At the same time, details were released of Macau’s new Greater Bay Area Fund, which will raise 100 billion yuan initially and is focused on creating a southern version of Beijing’s futuristic Xiongan New District in the southern area of Hengqin, the special zone facing Macau’s casinos in Cotai.
According to a news release from the Zhuhai government, quoted by Nanfang Daily, the new tech policy is aimed at drawing a “road map” for the city to join the Greater Bay Area’s bigger project of becoming a globally competitive science and technology innovation hub.
President Xi Jinping began his three-day visit to Macau today by getting off the plane and immediately telling the Greater Bay’s smaller SAR that he was proud of all it had achieved these past 20 years.
The love is mutual, it would seem, as Macau has laid on a gushing display of patriotism ahead of the most important event of the past two decades since its return to Chinese control. This has included its security forces being placed on high alert. The HZMB has been manned by armed police just inside Guangdong waters; the ferry terminals have seen reduced sailings and strict checkpoints; and Gongbei, the main land crossing from the mainland, has been heavily beefed up with uniformed and plainclothed police.
Shenzhen, a city with 13 million registered residents, has a workforce of 11,681,100, up 3.3% over last year’s total.
A workforce equal to more than 90% of all residents is only possible, of course, because Shenzhen’s actual population is more than 22 million, once migrant workers are added.
Moreover, according to local media, 151,900 jobs were added to the city’s economy this year, which was slightly above its annual target, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 2.22%. Not a single registered household reported being without at least one breadwinner.
President Xi Jinping lands in Macau on Wednesday. He has decided to devote three full days of his busy schedule to spending time with people in the Special Administrative Region, culminating in the 20th anniversary celebrations on Friday, December 20.
He has never done this before. Not even Hong Kong has received this much attention from the big man previously. For his last visit, five years ago, he (memorably) jetted in, gave a speech, and jetted out again.
Why a man who runs a country of 1.4 billion people is devoting three days of his schedule to 670,000 of them should be obvious by now for anyone who has observed the region for the past six months, let alone the past 20 years: Hong Kong has been unruly and ungrateful; Macau has been loyal and patriotic. A message needs to be sent: if you behave, and if you love your country, you get rewarded.
A glance at the financial scorecard of Shenzhen’s publicly listed companies in the most recent quarter shows an impressive performance: Across 393 companies, listed on six stock exchanges at home and abroad, revenues rose by 13.05%, profits by a whopping 33.08%, YoY.