The GBA idea was first mentioned in 2015 when China publicised the Belt and Road initiative. In March 2017, Premier Li Keqiang highlighted the GBA in his Government Work Report, formally initiating the idea as a city cluster development plan.
In July 2017 the local governments of Guangdong province, Hong Kong, Macau and NDRC signed the official cooperation framework document of the GBA. The region’s detailed development outline is expected to be announced in the first half of 2018.
The GBA’s total gross domestic product is about the same as Australia and Canada. It has a larger population and land area when compared to other bay areas in the world. However, its growth scale and GDP per capita are still lacking, indicating room for catching up.
Past & future
The PRD region spearheaded China’s growth miracle with GDP per capita rising from $US2,825 in 2000 to $US20,616 in 2017, thanks to the rapid development of the local manufacturing sector which benefitted from the wave of investment from global names.
In addition to openness, the region also enjoys policy flexibility, helped it become one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.
However, the region’s growth momentum has softened during the last five years amid diminishing labour and cost advantages. GDP growth has fallen to 7 per cent to 8 per cent in recent years from double-digit growth prior to 2012.