GBA in numbers

We just updated our numbers for the 11 cities of the Greater Bay Area. Sorry it took so long to get around to it. We were reminded to do so today while attending a conference at which 2017 numbers were trotted out to show that the GBA was on track to overtake South Korea in the global economic rankings. In fact, at the end of last year, the GBA leaped ahead of that country into #11. By next year, it will surely be in the Top 10 once it vaults past Canada.

Here is the table:

And here is the comparison among the GBA cities:

The region’s strength comes from its Tier-1 powerhouses of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. However, looking more closely at the city-by-city data reveals some interesting trends. Key of these are:

Big get bigger: Shenzhen and Guangzhou are leaving Hong Kong behind in absolute terms, being cities with bigger populations that are growing faster, although they have a long way to go to reach Hong Kong’s per-capita GDP levels.

Services are the future: Hong Kong still has a much bigger services sector. Guangzhou has a bigger services sector than Shenzhen, which is a tech manufacturing powerhouse. But this will likely change in the coming years as Qianhai ramps up its investment by Hong Kong-based companies, primarily in financial services.

Dongguan is catching up: The plucky neighbor of both Guangzhou and Shenzhen is growing faster than Foshan and will soon overtake it into fourth spot overall.

Zhuhai rising: appears to be the engine on the western side of the Bay, not Zhongshan, and this will likely accelerate in the coming years as Hengqin island ramps up.

Plenty of space to expand: Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing are a long way behind, but infrastructure projects coming online soon will bring these areas, with abundant land resources, into the GBA’s inner circle quickly.

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