Infrastructure boost to the Greater Bay Area

August 10, 2017 / By  

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area) is a national-level plan aiming at boosting further cooperation between China, Hong Kong and Macau. As Premier Li Keqiang emphasized in his recent Report on the Work of the Government 2017, the plan seeks to enhance the influence of this metropolitan region, supported by China’s economic development and global involvement.

Though the master plan for the Greater Bay Area has yet to be announced, we could certainly expect to see cities in this area becoming better integrated physically, according to the recently released 13th Five-Year Plan for the Public Infrastructure in Guangdong.

Key developments for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area plan include:

  • More than 10 high-speed rail (HSR) and intercity rail (IR) lines are under construction or planned. They will not only link cities within the Greater Bay Area, but also connect them to other cities and provinces. It is worth mentioning that the HSR between Shenzhen and Hong Kong will be completed in 2018, which will make it possible to travel from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in 14 minutes and Guangzhou in 48 minutes, respectively.
  • Four bridges to resolve the bottleneck problem at the Pearl River estuary. In addition to the existing Humen Bridge, three new bridges are under construction, which include: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, and the second Humen Bridge. Driving time between eastern and western cities at the Pearl River estuary will be within an hour.
  • One new airport in the west and more international flights. The new airport will be located in a city west of the Greater Bay Area – Foshan. This will benefit business travellers and domestic visitors traveling from the west of Guangdong. Additionally, many existing airports, most of which are located in the Greater Bay Area, will be expanded or upgraded, and the total number of international flights in Guangdong is planned to be increased from 160 to over 210.

The master plan is likely to generate growth in certain areas, which include:

  • Logistics development will grow in the west of the Greater Bay Area. The scarcity of land for logistics service development and increasing rents in Tier 1 cities have been pushing leasing demand to surrounding cities. With more cross-sea bridges and HSR lines constructed, leasing demand and investment in the west of the Greater Bay Area (e.g. Zhuhai and Zhongshan etc.) are expected to grow.
  • More potential locations for business parks. Low-end manufacturing and tech companies will continue to move out from Tier 1 cities. With improved connectivity, more cities in the west of the Greater Bay Area (e.g. Zhongshan and Foshan etc.) may become options for new business parks given improving public infrastructure.
  • Increased attractiveness of Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities to talents. Improved transportation facilities will aid Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities (e.g. Foshan and Zhuhai etc.) in devising better city plans to appeal to investors and talent, while also attracting more people to migrate to these cities given comparatively low property price and living costs.

Map1_10Aug2017Source: JLL, MapIT

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