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Overview of Greater Bay Area

Overview of Greater Bay Area 

What is Greater Bay Area

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (“Greater Bay Area” or ”GBA”) comprises the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. The total area is around 56 000 km2. Based on the latest figures provided by the Guangdong Province, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (SARG) and the Macao SARG, the total population in the Greater Bay Area is over 86 million and the GDP is USD 1,668.8 billion in 2020. 

It is the bigger in populations (86.17 million) as well as the area (56,000 sq km) as compared with Greater Tokyo, Greater New York, San Francisco Bay Area.  The respective comparison is showed in the following table.

Comparison of Size between the GBA and the Three Major Bay Area Centre 

Bay Area Land area (km2) Population (mil) GDP (US$B) GDP per capita


Tokyo Bay Area 36,898 44.341 1,991.63 45,0843
New York Metro Area 21,479 19.222 1,861.22 96,8532
San Francisco Bay Area 17,887 7.742 995.12 128,5732
Greater Bay Area 56,098 86.171 1,679.32 23,1162


  1. 2020 figure
  2. 2019 figure
  3. 2018 figure

Source: Government statistical departments in the relevant jurisdiction, HKTDC, HKSAR, Statistics and Census Service of Macao SAR, and HKTDC Research


Size, population and GDP of the different cities in the GBA. 

City Land area






GDP per capita


Hong Kong 1,110 7.47 346.59 46,325
Macau 33 0.68 24.33 35,714
Guangzhou 7,434 18.68 362.73 19,422
Shenzhen 1,997 17.56 401.17 22,846
Foshan 3,798 9.5 156.82 16,509
Dongguan 2,460 10.47 139.91 13,367
Huizhou 11,347 6.04 61.21 10,129
Zhongshan 1,784 4.42 45.69 10,342
Jiangmen 9,507 4.8 46.41 9,672
Zhuhai 1,736 2.44 50.48 20,693
Zhaoqing 14,891 4.11 33.51 8,147

Source: 2020 Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong, Statistics and Census Service of Macau, the statistics bureau of the relevant PRC cities, HKTDC 

  • Shenzhen: 4 pillar industry: Advanced Technology: modern logistics, financial services, cultural industry
  • Guangzhou: 3 pillar industry: Automobiles, Electronics, Petrochemical industry
  • Hong Kong: Stable and fully convertible Hong Kong dollar; Key financial institutions represented with its skilled work-force

The Greater Bay Area Blueprint

The Chinese Government released its blueprint for the GBA-Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.  The Greater Bay Area presents significant business opportunities across a broad range of sectors and industries.

 According to the Blueprint, there is 7 Areas of Development:

  1. Developing an international innovation and technology hub
  2. Expediting infrastructural connectivity
  3. Building a globally competitive modern industrial system
  4. Taking forward ecological conservation
  5. Developing a quality circle for living, working and travelling
  6. Strengthen cooperation and jointly participating in the Belt and Road Initiative
  7. Jointly developing Guangdong-Macao cooperation platforms

Points to note on Mainland China’s Regulatory Framework on Foreign Investment:

  • China’s Foreign Investment Law and Regulations came into force on January 1, 2020. This marked the new era where foreign invested enterprises will be treated the same as domestic enterprises.
  • National Treatment plus Negative List approach that make it easier for the foreign investors to come into China.
  • Simplified procedures with multiple certificates and license consolidated into just one-application with Administration for Market Regulation.

 The development of the Greater Bay Area is accorded the status of key strategic planning in the country’s development blueprint, having great significance in the country’s implementation of innovation-driven development and commitment to reform and opening-up. The objectives are to further deepen cooperation amongst Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, fully leverage the composite advantages of the three places, facilitate in-depth integration within the region, and promote coordinated regional economic development, with a view to developing an international first-class bay area ideal for living, working and travelling.

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