The Pearl River Delta in a map dated 1888
The Zhujiang (also known as the Pearl) River is the fourth longest river in China, formed by the confluence of the Dongjiang, Beijing and Xijiang rivers flowing down from Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. The Zhujiang River Delta is located at the entrance of the South China Sea, where it covers 40,000 square kilometres. Thirty-one cities and counties, including Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Guangzhou, are located in the immediate region. The area has an estimated population of 120 million.
Lying in the subtropical zone, the delta receives plenty of rain-fall and its temperature is so mild that it seldom falls below zero centigrade even in the winter. An extensive network of rivers allows inland shipping to flourish.
The delta teems with rich, sugarcane, jute, various flowers and fruit, silkworms, and other special crops used to make famous brand-name products. Local industries include sugar refining, silk weaving, iron and steel, ship building and chemicals. The Zhujiang River Delta has favourable conditions for developing foreign trade because of its convenient transportation network, and its proximity to Hong Kong, Macao and other islands on the South China Sea.
As a major industrial city, Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, has been the host of china’s Imports and Exports Commodity Fair, held twice a year since 1957. At present, more attention is being given to finance, trade, energy, transportation, and new technology, turning Guangzhou into an international metropolis.
With the start of China’s reform programme in 1979, Guangdong was one of the first provinces to implement China’s opening policy. The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was built on the site of a small fishing village. Now as a window to the outside world, the Shenzhen and Zhuhai special economic zones have set an example for the delta on how to develop technology and export-led industries. The cities of Zhongshan, Dongguan, Shunde and Nanhai have been nicknamed the “Four Little Tigers” of Guangdong Province, because of their rapid economic growth and improved living standards.
Situated on the eastern estuary of the Zhujiang River, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China is an international trade and financial center, surpassed only by New York and London. Hong Kong was handed over to China on July 1, 1997
Raising the Bar
For the past three decades, the Chinese mainland has been a global manufacturing winner, thanks to its low-cost advantages. But times have changed, mainly because of the mainland’s soaring labour costs. The question now is whether it has more to offer than price competitiveness.
Leslie T. Chang: The voices of China’s workers
In the ongoing debate about globalization, what’s been missing is the voices of workers — the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang sought out women who work in one of China’s booming megacities, and tells their stories.
New Transit Hub Planned At Shenzhen Airport
SHENZHEN International Airport is planning to build a transportation hub in its new Terminal 3 that will shorten travel between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong airports to about 10 minutes, Shenzhen Economic Daily reported Thursday.
Covering 65,000 square meters, the transportation hub known as GTC will connect Terminal 3 to the Metro. Terminal 3 is expected to open next year and will expand the airport’s annual passenger flows to 45 million people.
GTC will provide access to public transportation including taxis, long- and short-distance buses and Metro, according to project staff. The planned Metro Line 11 will allow passengers to reach Terminal 3 from Futian District in half an hour. A Metro line between Shenzhen and Hong Kong airports will cut that trip to about 10 minutes. Metro Line 10 also will reach Terminal 3 in the future.
Fourteen bus lines connect the airport to various parts of the city, and five direct airport bus routes carry an average of 24,000 passengers a day, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
Shenzhen airport also offers transportation access from cities across the Pearl River Delta, including Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Hong Kong and Macao. More than 2.71 million passengers in the region traveled to the Shenzhen airport through 21 city bus express routes in 2011.
Source: Shenzhen Daily
e-Reading the Future
While e-books may not have taken off with the same speed as in the United States and Europe, e-reading in Hong Kong is steadily on the rise – from schools and educational programmes to the daily commute on the MTR.
“The concept of e-reading is growing in popularity in the Hong Kong market,” said Swindon Book Company Managing Director Annabella Li, whose company will exhibit the Kobo Touch eReader and the new Kobo Vox eReader at this year’s HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, 18-24 July. “We do notice a growing trend of people using e-readers to read. You can actually see more people are using e-readers on the MTR and on buses.”
Guangdong Province to Complete LED Lightings Transition in Public Places Within 3 Years
To read more go to http://tiny.cc/pzl5ew
The new liberalisation measures of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland expands opportunities in such services as banking and securities, product testing and health.
Hong Kong is home to Asia’s newest logistics facility, Interlink, developed by Australian property group Goodman. The 24-storey structure is already fully leased by firms eager to reach clients across the region, particularly the Chinese mainland
A New World on the Sea
CCTV 9 documentary with early footage of the establishment of Shekou (Shenzhen) as export processing zone
Historic Hong Kong – Gateway to China
Film documentary from 1938 about bustling Hong Kong – minus high-rises
Click on the picture and enjoy!
Hong Kong Gets on the Cloud
Cyberport, Hong Kong’s creative digital community, and the Hong Kong Government, organised a one-day symposium last month to discuss efforts in the public and private sectors to develop cloud computing in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. More than 650 members from government, business and academia attended the “Next Generation Information Technology Standard Symposium,” held 30 March, at Cyberport.
To read the full article please follow the link
Hong Kong’s Express Rail Link in the Making
The 26-km long Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Express Rail Link, or XRL) runs from West Kowloon in Hong Kong to the boundary of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The Express Rail Link will connect with the 16,000-km National High-speed Railway Network and will enhance Hong Kong’s role as the southern gateway to the Mainland. Construction of the Express Rail Link commenced in January 2010, with completion targeted for 2015.
For more information go to Hong Kong’s MTR Express Link
Was this the beginning of the ‘End of Cheap China’?
For years now the debate is going on: Is the end of cheap China coming? Is the end already here? Or is China re-structuring? For somebody like me, who has worked and lived in the region almost since China opened, changes are obvious. I witnessed the development of the Pearl River Delta in particular close-up and the lower Yangtse region to some extent.
It’s worthwhile to look back from time to time at predictions and conclusions which were made in the past and to see, how much the discussion has progressed since back then. On Youtube’s ‘World Business’ Channel I found a fascinating report about China as manufacturing location of the world under the title ‘The End of Cheap China?‘ from September 2008, highlighting the development in the Pearl River Delta in particular.
Most of what has been said in this report is still valid now and is still discussed by those who run bunsinesses and factories between Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Dongguan and beyond. Most of the companies interviewed in this video are still in or near Shenzhen, and have even grown in recent years. Others have spread out and are now more and more present in other provinces of China, and quite a few have left and went even further away to relocate.
Does it mean China is losing its appeal as manufacturing hub? The ‘World Business’ report ‘The End of Cheap china?’ predicts, back in 2008, this would not be the case, in general terms, it indicates rather a change. And a very recent report by ‘The New york Times‘ seems to confirm those predictions:
The Financial Times’ beyondbrics comments on January 25, 2012:
Techwireasia writes: The Real Reason Your Gadgets are Made in China
Bloomberg TV about factory conditions in China: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/85004404/
Tim Worstall joins the discussion in Forbes: The Apple Boycott: People Are Spouting Nonsense about Chinese Manufacturing
The Economist joins the debate with a surprisingly well founded contribution, based on facts instead of anecdotes and leaving all the short-breathed hoopla about factory conditions in China behind. For more read:
Manufacturing: The end of cheap China – What do soaring Chinese wages mean for global manufacturing?
The Pearl River Delta: Economic Profile
The Pearl River Delta economic zone (PRD) is one of China’s leading economic regions and a major manufacturing center. It locates at the Pearl River estuary where the river enters the South China Sea. The zone is formed by 9 cities, namely Guangzhou (the provincial capital), Shenzhen, Foshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Dongguan, four districts and counties of Huizhou and four districts and counties of Zhaoqing.
Shenzhen – Zhongshan corridor route decided
THE Shenzhen-Zhongshan corridor project, which will give Shenzhen much-desired direct road access to the western Pearl River Delta, has made a significant breakthrough.
The corridor’s landing site on the Shenzhen side will be south of Shenzhen’s airport, and the corridor’s route to Zhongshan has been decided, Huang Min, director of the Shenzhen transport commission, said at a recent meeting.
The corridor will be connected with Jihe Expressway and Guangzhou-Shenzhen No. 2 Expressway in Shenzhen and with Jiangzhong Expressway in Zhongshan, which is located on the western bank of the Pearl River.
As the corridor will go either above or beneath the mouth of the Pearl River — or both —studies relating to issues such as river navigation, flight altitude control at the Shenzhen airport and flood control at the mouth of the Pearl River were launched last year.
Plans for the Shenzhen-Zhongshan corridor project will be completed this year, Huang said. The project is included in Guangdong Province’s 12th five-year plan. It is a key project in the Reform and Development Plan of the Pearl River Delta Area for 2008-2020.
The corridor project is estimated to cost 30 billion yuan (US$4.76 billion). It will be started in 2015 and completed in 2020.
Shenzhen officials came up with initial plans to build an underwater tunnel or a bridge to connect the city with Zhongshan about six years ago.
In other roadway news, the Shenzhen transport commission said the Shenzhen sections of Guangzhou-Shenzhen No. 2 Expressway, Boluo-Shenzhen Expressway and the second phase of Qingping Expressway will be finished within the year.
The 63.2 kilometers of Boluo-Shenzhen Expressway cover Huizhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen. The work will greatly improve the vehicle access and economies of the three cities.
First phase of coastal expressway set to open
THE first phase of a new expressway linking Shenzhen and Guangzhou will be open to traffic Wednesday, the Guangzhou-based New Express newspaper reported yesterday.
The first phase of the Guangshen (Guangzhou-Shenzhen) Coastal Expressway (S3) starts in Huangpu District in Guangzhou and ends in Weiyuan in Dongguan. The 41-kilometer section will shorten travel time from Huangpu to Humen in Dongguan to 30 minutes and its toll is 35 yuan (US$5.5), 10 yuan cheaper than that of the same distance on the current Guangshen (Guangzhou-Shenzhen) Expressway.
After the completion of the whole new coastal expressway, scheduled for the end of this year, about one third of traffic on the current Guangshen Expressway is expected to be diverted to the new freeway. The coastal expressway will pass Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport and end at Shekou in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
The two-way-eight-lane new coastal expressway, costing 15.77 billion yuan, is designed to have a speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour.
The 89-km expressway will shorten travel time from Guangzhou to Shenzhen to just one hour, saving one hour if traveling on the current expressway.
Shenzhen Airport Expansion adds another Mega-Airport to the Region
Before 1991 there wasn’t even an airport in Shenzhen. Driving by the construction-site in the late 1980s, Guangshen highway still under construction and facing an absolute chaotic traffic situation on our daily trips to the factory in Shajing, a couple of km north of the airport, many thought that Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport might be a number too big for Shenzhen.
Today Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is the fourth-busiest airport in China, two terminals, designed to handle 15 million passengers annually in fact had a throughput of 26.7 million passengers in 2010. Terminal 3 as well as the second runway will open for traffic in 2012, a third runway and fourth passenger terminal as well as enhanced freight facilities will be added until 2040.
Find more information about Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport’s expansion, design studies and more on the following sites:
AsiaWorld Expo and the Development of the PRD
Located right next to Hong Kong International Airport, AsiaWorld Expo will take full advantage of the additional traffic links to be created in the Pearl River Delta over the next years. Major destinations will be within a one-hour radius, easy to reach by road and rail.
For a full overview of the planning for please download‘A National Blueprint for the Future of Global Business’ from AsiaWorld Expo’s website.
Planning Study on the Coordinated Development of the Greater Pearl River Delta Townships
Download this public digest from here: http://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/misc/great_prd/events/PR-EN-html.pdf
Hengqin Island Development
Shenzhen 2.0 – Hengqin to be Transformed into a Special Economic Zone
Hengqin Island was a sleepy rural community that was well known for one product, oysters. But today many of the islands oyster shacks and fish farms are giving way to development and have been demolished in favor of highways and skyscrapers
For more information please visit http://www.shenzhen-standard.com/2012/03/20/hengqin-to-be-transformed-into-a-special-economic-zone/
Hengqin to boost Macau as trade hub
Despite having the right infrastructure, qualified human resources and economic and financial tools, Macau still needs to develop some core industries in order to become a real platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, some scholars warned.
As the development of Hengqin Island becomes the centre stage for the city’s expansion, it could help boost Macau’s role as a trade hub, they added.
The 106 square kilometre island is designated to become a service-industries hub by wooing investment in tourism, financial services and creative industries, and aims to promote closer economic co-operation between Macau, Guangdong and Hong Kong, which suits the future development of the MSAR away from the gaming industry.
All these years the Macau government has been working to promote the territory as a trade hub between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, but some of its efforts may be falling short, the scholars believe.
“Why hasn’t Macau become the platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries after all these years? The main reason is that some core industries haven’t yet developed,” said professor Feng Bang Yan from the Economic Department of Jinan University.
According to professor Feng, quoted by TDM News, there are five main areas that need to be improved in order to achieve the desired results, mainly the economic and finance framework, trade ties, logistics, as well as the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector.
Hence, the development of Hengqin Island could be of the utmost importance to Macau, as the SAR will have further room to expand these industries.
Government guidelines suggest that the island will be “a pilot-area for innovative trials” including a new regime for border crossing, which will have different procedures for people, vehicles and goods. The highlight, officials said last August, will be free circulation of goods between Macau and the island.
As official figures showed, from 2002 to 2010, the total amount of trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries increased from USD 6.05 billion (MOP 48.5 billion) to USD 91.42 billion (MOP 733.9 billion).
So, the trade story between both sides seems to have a bright future ahead, said professor Feng, adding that Macau will play an important role in the future relationship.
A point of view shared by the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the University of Macau. “Macau not only has the advantage of languages [because it has several bilingual professionals], but also has good relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries, mostly because of its historical ties,” said Hao Yufan quoted by TDM.
Moreover, Hao added, the experience of Macau’s mature tourism industry, along with the preferential policies that will be in place in Hengqin, will be essential to enhance the SAR’s role as a trade and economic platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
“The key point now is how to make these advantages become attractive [to businesspeople],” said professor Hao, adding that he believes Macau and Hengqin will be able to complement each other.
eSun crossing the border
Meanwhile, Lai Sun’s member companies eSun Holdings, which had plans to invest in Macau, and Lai Fung Holdings have signed an agreement with the Zhuhai municipal government to invest 18 billion yuan in a one million square metre site in Hengqin to build a “creative culture city”, South China Morning Post reported yesterday.
“[It is] aimed at consolidating resources from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau to promote and develop the cultural and creative industries, including film and television entertainment, music, new media, creative designs, culture art workshops, live performance…,” eSun and Lai Fung said in a joint statement.
“There will be a designated zone for small and medium cultural and creative enterprises of Macau,” the companies added.
“Creative Culture City will provide an integrated service platform for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan industry players, as well as foreign film companies contemplating film-making in China,” Lai Sun’s chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok said, quoted by SCMP.
Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, said yesterday the government will analyse the project that both companies have for Hengqin, as well as the contract signed with Zhuhai authorities, to see if there is room for local companies to explore business opportunities.
The SAR Government is preparing policies to support the participation of Macau’s small and medium enterprises in the development of Hengqin, which would mean “more space” for the growth of local companies.
An affiliate of eSun Holdings Ltd in June sold a 60 percent stake in Cyber One Group, the developer of the long-delayed Macao Studio City project in Cotai, to gaming operator Melco Crown Entertainment.
Policies applied to Hengqin Island are more far-reaching than those in Chinese economic zones
Macau, China, 23 Aug – Macau’s Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On said Monday that the policies approved by the Chinese State Council to be applied in Hengqin Island were even more far-reaching than existing policies in Chinese special economic zones.
Chui was speaking during a meeting to provide information about the new policies to be applied to Hengqin Island, next to Macau.
“According to what is outlined in the General Lines of Planning for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta Region,” and in line with the Cooperation Framework Agreement, the governments of Guangdong and Macau have been cooperating on Hengqin Island and also in Nansha, in Guangzhou. We are also driving the construction of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Scientific and Industrial Park on the island,” he said.
The Macau Chief Executive also said that the “Macau Investimento e Desenvolvimento, S.A.” company had recently been set up, and that it would support the development of the Guangdong-Macau industrial cooperation park.
Chui Sai On also said that, as part of the Macau-Guangdong joint cooperation meeting, a Working Group for Guangzhou-Macau Cooperation had also been set up and that the two sides would make use of facilities provided in Nansha as a platform to promote Guangzhou-Macau cooperation.
In his speech the Chief Executive also noted that for the Macau Government the next priority was to drive joint construction projects for the Guangzhou-Macau Cultural Creativity Industrial Park and the Cruise Port of Nansha.
The governor of Guangdong, Huang Huahua said that the Guangdong-Macau Framework Agreement, sine din Beijing, had established five big areas of cooperation with a view to developing Hengqin Island, which has an area of 104.46 square kilometres, specifically in terms of movement of people and goods, border control, and tax benefits aimed at supporting development of industry in Guangdong and Macau.
Railway Development to serve Greater PRD Region
In 2008 the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) published a planning study titled ‘Railway Development to serve Greater PRD Region’. The publication (in PDF format) can be found here:
Guangzhou Metro: From naught to 1.2 billion passengers in 20 years
In the early 1990’s Guangzhou, China’s third-largest city, was becoming dysfunctional as economic and population growth was matched by pollution and gridlock growth. But the construction of the Guangzhou Metro has made the city one of the most mobility friendly metropolises in the world.
Structure and development
In the late 1980s the local and central governments agreed that a new body be established to create a modern transport system. Urban transport developments had been attempted and abandoned no fewer than five times in the previous three decades in Guangzhou. The planning for the new system in the late 1980s and early 1990s involved expertise from France as well as other areas of China. The Guangzhou Metro Corporation (GMC) was approved and legally established as a large-scale enterprise entirely owned by the Guangzhou Municipal Government and came into being in 1992.
Guangzhou Metro Corporation employs over 17,000 people, a number that is increasing as the system extends. It is responsible for construction, operation and management of the fixed link transport system in the city.
Its activities have expanded over the years and it has a major real estate development function on land along the corridors of the developing metro system. Profits from the real estate division’s work are used in the funding of further expansion of the system.
As the urban railway and metro planning and building programme has accelerated across China in the years since 2005 the public corporation has evolved further.
Since 2009, the GMC’s in-house Design Institute sells its services to other cities. Also since that year the GMC has had a consultancy division which has been part of consortia which have bid successfully to deliver other urban transportation schemes.
By 1992, planning for a first line was at an advanced stage and construction began in 1993.
The early years
The initial 5.4km section of Line 1 opened in 1997 and linked Xilang with Hangshwa along an east–west corridor. In 1999 it was extended to Guangzhou East rail station and traversed 18km with 16 stations.
Line 1 was procured and delivered through a turnkey contract with Siemens although the trains were bought from Adtranz, now part of Bombardier. It cost 12 billion yuan (US$1.87 billion) and was then the most expensive single project ever procured by the city.
In 2002 the first 23km phase of Line 2 opened, a year ahead of schedule, The route was extended in 2003 and again in 2005. This was a start but by then the population was growing rapidly as the Pearl River Delta had become the workshop of the world. A boost to the rate of funding and constructing modern mass transit was needed. And then the second key event happened.
Asian Games and 2004-2010 investment and expansion
In 2004 Guangzhou mayor Zhang Guanghang and his colleagues decided to bid for the 2010 Asian Games and at a meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia in Doha. Their bid was successful and Guangzhou was awarded the games. Guangzhou Metro Corporation and the municipal government were now able to access a much faster flow of investment capital in the context of the Games, the greatest opportunity to showcase itself the city had had since before the communist revolution.
Wan Qingliang, who succeeded Zhang Guanghang as mayor in early 2010 confirmed before the games began that expenditures on it were within budget. Within budget or not, 109 billion yuan (US$17 billion) were invested in urban infrastructure projects in the previous six years. The majority of this, around 70 billion yuan, was invested in the metro expansion.
On 8 November 2010, four days before the Games began, the last part of a massive phase of development was in place when services began on the Chigang Pagoda – Linhexi people mover, a 3.9km driverless system built to serve the central business district in the Zhujiang New Town district.
Line 2 and Line 8 have been re-organised. Line 2 is now a 32km north-south line across the city, which incorporates a new northern extension to outer suburbs and terminates at Jiahewanggang. Line 8 is now an east-west line of 14 kms linking Fenghuang Xincun with Wanshengwei.
By November 2010 the Guangzhou metro network totalled 236km with 144 stations. There are 8 lines. And not all of them are limited to the city and environs. The network had expanded by 170km in five years. The metro system now reaches into the outer suburbs of the city and beyond the city boundaries.
Hubs and regional and wider connectivity
And this dramatic surge in investment recognised that both reach and interchange are important in an effective urban transportation network.
Guangzhou’s massive 1990s airport in Baiyun, a large district in the north of the city, has been served by line 3 since October 2010. There are two stations there. This cross-city underground line now traverses 67km. It is a Y shape with a north south trunk and a spur to the east so it serves a high proportion of the principal locations including Panyu Square, Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou East Station and Tiyu Xilu.
Journey time for the 28km between the city centre stations and the airport is around 40 minutes. Interchange with line 2 at Jiahewanggwang in the south of Baiyun provides convenient travel between the airport and the Guangzhou South High Speed Rail Station on the opposite edge of the city with a single transfer.
The key hub for the future for Guangzhou and the whole of the Pearl River Delta is this Guangzhou South facility which opened in January 2010. It is the southern terminal for high speed train services across Guangdong province and on in to central China. The 968km very high speed line between Guangzhou South and Wuhan is used for 50 services a day.
From 2015 the hub will be connected to Hong Kong in 48 minutes when all elements of the new express rail line through Guangdong to Kowloon in Hong Kong are completed.
Currently, it is served by the new Guangzhou – Zuhai inter-city railway and by other Guangdong inter city routes.
Constructed between 2007-2010 at a cost of 12 billion yuan, it has a 68 metres roof span over 28 platforms. Current capacity is 200,000 passengers daily and the design allows for expansion to 300,000 passengers a day capacity. The design team was London based TFP Farrells, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Fourth Railway Survey and Design Institute.
In July 2010 the new southern extension of metro line 2 to Guangzhou South Station was opened. In future the station will also be served by planned lines 7 and 12. Phase 1 of line 7, which will connect Guangzhou South with more of Panyu district, the major higher education hub in the southern part of the city and more interchange points is likely to be constructed by 2016..
Investment and expansion 2011 – 2021
Building continues with lines being extended to the outer suburbs and more new lines so that by 2015 the metro system will exceed 300km. Two more new lines, lines 6 and 9, are being constructed and are due to open by 2015. Construction of the 20km line 9 connecting Guangzhou North rail station with Huadu and Gaozeng began in summer 2011.
The Guangfo line, also known as line 11, will be extended by 10km within Guangzhou from Xilang – Lijiao. It will then be 33km long with 21 stations. The extension is set to open by 2013.
The Guangfo line was jointly sponsored and is jointly owned by Guangzhou City Council and Foshan City Council. It is China’s first underground metro line to connect two significant urban centres. Most of the first phase, which opened in 2010, is in Foshan. The two cities have agreed to build a second cross-city metro line which should begin construction in 2015.
Estimated investment in Guangzhou Metro in the decade 2005 – 2015 is over 100 billion yuan.
In an address to the City Reform and Development commission in February 2011 mayor Win Qingliang said overall rail network investment between 2011 and 2016 would be 63 billion yuan (US$9.8 billion). Twenty billion of this would be on the first phase of line 7 and the first phase of line 9 of the metro system. A further 11 billion yuan is earmarked for phase 2 of line 6 expected on site in 2013. Around 50% of the funds will come from bank loans.
And with the population rising so quickly it will not end there. In 2010 the population was officially 12.7 million and mayor Win Qingliang even speaks of 15 million in his speeches. With the opening of more roads and fast rail lines connectivity in the pearl river delta is improving and with manufacturing activity continuing to be strong the numbers of more transient residents continues to increase across the whole area.
The opening of the high speed line services to Kowloon, Hong Kong cutting the journey time to 48 minutes in 2015 will also probably increase business and residential re-location.
Economy and tax revenues permitting there are firm proposals for another five new lines totalling 190 kms and further inner and outer suburban extensions to five of the existing lines. If all these projects go ahead in the 2015-2022 period, as currently envisaged Guangzhou will have a metro system of approaching or even exceeding 600 kms by 2020.
Current operations facts
In 2010 the system carried 1.18 billion passengers. The vast numbers carried during the Asian Games when use of the system was free significantly contributed to the total. The daily average in May 2011 was 4.4 million. If this is typical the 8 lines will cater for around 1.6 billion journeys in 2011. This catapults Guangzhou in to the top ten metro cities of the world.
A contactless smart card system, the Yang Cheng Tong, is in place in the city region. Single journeys cost between 2 and 14 yuan.
All of the lines are 1435 mm gauge and are a mixture of overhead line and third rail power. Late in 2010 the Guangzhou Metro Corporation owned just over 1000 vehicles though this will increase sharply by 2015.
Nansha-Qianhai Pilot Measures to Bring New Opportunities for HKSAR Enterprises
Hong Kong and Shenzhen cooperation is entering a new era. Heads of Nansha Development Zone and the Qianhai Management Authority said today that the two zones will focus on the development of services industries and roll out various pilot measures which will benefit Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation. These will include tax incentives to attract Hong Kong talent to work in these regions.
These were the findings of a joint delegation organized by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council study tour, which returned to Hong Kong today from Nansha and Qianhai. Led by HKGCC Chairman Anthony Wu, the 46-member delegation had in-depth discussions with top officials on the development plans for the special zones. Delegates also learned about priority industries, concrete support measures, as well as how the Hong Kong business community can participate in the development plan.
Cao Hai Lei, General Office Principal Staff, Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen, stressed that Qianhai is the “SAR of the SARs.” He explained that an innovative system is central to development, and he had no doubt that Shenzhen and Hong Kong will be able to make new breakthroughs. Business cooperation will focus on setting up a talent innovation base, and the two areas will be able to complement each other and foster mutual growth.
Chamber CEO Shirley Yuen expressed concerns about Qianhai’s tax system. Cao said their financial and tax policies are under Central Government’s review. He also stressed that Qianhai’s future tax policies will not be inferior to those of Macau or Hengqin SARs.
Zhong Huaying, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Committee of Guangzhou Nansha District, explained that future areas of cooperation with Hong Kong will cover five industries: business and trade; technology and innovation; education and training; maritime and logistics; as well as information and MICE. Measures to support the growth of these industries will be gradually rolled out in pilot programs to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the initiatives.
Commenting on the mission, Wu said Hong Kong’s services sector can further capitalize on and promote their advantages through closer cooperation with Nansha. He said he was particularly optimistic about cooperation in the areas of education and training, and added that the unique ecological advantages of Nansha will also offer tremendous opportunities for Hong Kong’s tourism and healthcare sectors. For example, they could cooperate in the development of recreational and holiday resorts.
Yuen appreciated the warm reception and meetings arranged by the Nansha and Qianhai leaders. She said the tour was tremendously useful in helping delegates gain a better understanding of the investment environment and development direction of the two districts. The mission will help enterprises formulate their future investment plans and promote Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation.