Port belt key to integrated development of Greater Bay Area

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Luohu will take the opportunity of the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to extend its cooperation with Hong Kong by building its three ports — Luohu, Wenjindu and Liantang, covering an area of 1.6 square kilometers- into a Shenzhen-Hong Kong port economic belt, the Luohu government says.

The port economic belt, which connects the eastern part of Guangdong province with the southern parts of neighboring Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, represents window opening to the Shenzhen Economic Special Zone.

Luohu district will strengthen the infrastructure and institutional connectivity of Shenzhen and Hong Kong in the port economic zone to bolster the two sides' collaboration in finance, business and consumption, as well as education, medical care and other fields concerning people's livelihoods.

Luohu aims to make the port economic belt into a demonstration zone for high-quality economic growth and collaborated development under the framework of "one country, two systems."

Experts believe the construction of the port belt is of far-reaching significance to transforming the Greater Bay Area from blueprint to reality, as it can strengthen cooperation between the inland and Hong Kong and Macao. The construction is expected to contribute to quality of life in the area, as well as a more seamless connection between the overseas market and the eastern side of Guangdong.

The port economic belt could also be pivotal for integrated and collaborated development in the region and opening-up endeavors that allow the area to radiate its influence beyond Guangdong.

The three ports form the axis of the port economic belt, and the surrounding Caiwuwei, Dongmen and Hubei provide more space for development connecting the economic belt with neighboring regions around Luohu.

The region between the Luohu Port, the largest of its kind between the mainland and Hong Kong, and the Shenzhen Railway Station, which is connected with 19 provincial-level regions, forms the heart of the port economic belt and can become a comprehensive hub in the integration of Guangdong and Hong Kong. A large-scale urban renovation project is to be carried out in the region to upgrade the urban and transportation infrastructure, thus forming a comprehensive transport hub consisting of high-speed railway, regular railway, inter-city railway, urban track and port systems.

Luohu has earmarked the region as Shenzhen's "guest room" for tourists from both the inland and Hong Kong, where visitors can enjoy convenience of sightseeing, accommodation, shopping, entertainment and dining.

The port economic belt will also attract more resources related to medical care, education and culture, and establish a mechanism to share information and resources in these fields with Hong Kong, to better serve compatriots from Hong Kong and Macao living and working in the region.

A youth innovation and startup incubation center will be built near the Liantang Port, which will be finished and begin operation this year with a designed capacity of 30,000 visitors and 19,000 vehicles a day, which will help to form a one-hour life circle in Hong Kong and the eastern part of Guangdong.

Meanwhile, the Liantang Port region is also a key point in the emerging Dawutong industrial belt of Luohu, where internet industries and innovation facilities are concentrated. Hong Kong also plans to develop innovation industries in the Ta Kwu Ling region to the north of the New Territories, which will overlap the knowledge and science and technology corridor in eastern Hong Kong and its northern economic belt, and will neighbor the Liantang region to the south. Together the region will form a highland featuring efficient collaboration in industry, research and commerce.

The Liantang Port is also expected to be a magnet attracting Hong Kong universities, research institutes and enterprises to build research and development centers there. Emerging industries like artificial intelligence, information technology, cross-border e-commerce, and life and health will be developed. Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation will be a priority in the region, which will allow the Greater Bay Area to grow into an international science and technology innovation center.

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