HONG KONG - A "Greater Bay Area" comprising nine southern Chinese cities, Hong Kong and Macau will be established as a socio-economic hub in a strategic plan that eyes on technology innovation, according to a blueprint unveiled Monday.
The "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area," which includes the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, has a combined gross domestic product of about 10 trillion yuan ($1.48 trillion), a population of near 70 million and covers 56,500 square kilometers, according to the outline development plan released by the State Council.
The plan aims to develop a framework of a "first-class bay area and international city cluster" by 2022 through coordinating the infrastructure, technology innovation, and transportation developments of the 11 cities, and becoming a new technology-led economy by 2035.
"Hong Kong being an international finance, port, trading and air traffic hub, and Macau being world's tourism and resort center, and the Portuguese-speaking business and trade service platform, play a vital role in the fast development of the country's new open economic structure," the document says.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement that Chief Executive Carrie Lam welcomes the plan and it "will fully seize the opportunities brought about by the development of the Greater Bay Area, integrate the needs of the country with the strengths of Hong Kong."
Details of the plan will be released in a symposium scheduled in Hong Kong on Thursday.