Korea the role model, says Bay guru

The Greater Bay Area’s economic development model should not be other so-called “Bay Area” economies such as Tokyo, New York and San Francisco. It would be better to look at South Korea in the short term and Germany in the longer term. This is the view of Michael Enright, the Hong Kong University professor who is widely acknowledged as the leading international expert on the region’s development.

Speaking at an event organized by Amcham South China in Guangzhou today, Enright painted a bullish picture of the GBA’s future. When one looks at the resources available here, the connectivity that has been built between the region’s cities, and policy changes under way, he sees a unique opportunity for international investors. “The GBA will be a bellwether for the future of the world economy,” Enright said. “It will be at the center of the global economy. Not being here at this time. would be worse than having not been in Germany [in the post-war period].”

South Korea is the more rational choice for a role model in the near term, however, Enright said. Like that country, the GBA has an integrated economy where multinationals can locate: world-class finance and HQ operations, next to world-class R&D facilities; next to advanced manufacturing facilities; next to world-class logistics facilities; next to a consumer market of nearly 80m people. And now it is getting a turbo-boost from infrastructure development that is bringing travel times for goods and people into a range that will facilitate strong growth going forward.

Will the GBA double its GDP by 2030, or by 2035? The question is moot, Enright says. It will happen, just as it has happened everywhere else in the world that has faced a similar development path.

We will have a follow-up interview with the professor in the near future. In the meantime, check out his consulting company page .