How Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge can promote Hong Kong – PRD West integration?
The construction of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) was initiated in December 2009 and is expected to be complete by 2016. The bridge consists of three parts which includes the main bridge, boundary crossing and boundary crossing facilities of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao, and link roads of these three places. The bridge, once constructed will be the world’s largest longest sea crossing bridge tunnel, which goes to the length of 36.5 Kms.
Hong Kong has always played an important role in the integration process while it has been an Investor and a Trading Hub of producer services and a supporter of rapid growth in the PRD region. Moreover, it shares the responsibility of linking Hong Kong to the rest of the world . However, further integration and growth in PRD will depend upon the smooth and easy flow of goods and services, capital and technical know-how. Thus, The HZMB will be of immense great value in order to promote economic development between Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta(PRD) region. Following is a detailed discussion as how the bridge will bring economic harmony between Hong Kong and PRD:
Ehanced Connectivity and related Economic Growth:
So far, the development and all the arenas of investments were confined to Eastern Pearl River Delta as it was more close to Hong Kong. Hence, connectivity will play an important role in the spread of Economic Development in the Western PRD. Furthermore, reduced travel time between Hong Kong and Western PRD will be useful in tapping the growth potential in the latter region. Thus, the construction of the bridge was a result of Government of both the regions realizing the importance of improving the transportation links between Hong Kong and Western PRD. Since, the bridge will be the first land-link between two regions, it will save both time and the transportation cost.
Building an Integrated Skill Base:
Courtesy, the cross border employment trends, the competitive of Hong Kong edge as a producing hub of research, marketing and sales will depend on the skill base it develops. Thus, the bridge was also be helpful in integrating the skill base between two regions as the firms particularly in PRD region move up the value chain, enterprises situated in the Mainland are putting higher emphasis on Research and Development Investments and thus, the foreign firms are likely to relocate their R&D activities to the mainland. Thus, the bridge will also be helpful in movement of Mainland students and Highly Trained Professionals, who with their in-depth knowledge about the Hong Kong and PRD economy, will promote labor specialization and will also help in attracting the foreign companies to set up their R&D activities in the region.
Expanded Reach of Western PRD:
Post the construction of the bridge, the Western PRD will come under a reachable 3 hours commuting radius of Hong Kong. This will promote the Western PRD for Foreign Direct Investment. Thus, the bridge will also enhance the economic integration of Hong Kong with the PRD and also with the neighboring provinces and prominent economic zones of the South East Asia.
Since the Western PRD is close to Tung Chung And Lantau Island which have tourist attractions like, The Giant Buddha and Ngong Ping 360, it is most likely that the bridge will not only help in improving the trade numbers but will also increase promote tourism in the Western PRD.
Benefit to the Hong Kong Economy:
The bridge will not hep the Western PRD region only, but will also promote Hong Kong’s trade. The improved connectivity brought by HZMB Bridge will enhance the Hong Kong’s position as a trade and logistic hub since the goods from Western PRD can be better used at the airport and seaports of Hong Kong.
Creating a common market and Harmonizing Policies:
The benefit of improved connectivity through the bridge, will also help in creating a common market between two regions by supporting friction-less movement of goods and services en-routed through the bridge. This will result from the already high degree of interdependent and international trade recognition of Hong Kong. Significant progress has been made to reduce the cost of transportation of goods and services. At the same time, new policy announcements in Mainland, which now includes tight labor and environmental laws and most notably, announcement of rebate reduction during 2007, may highlight the sensitivity and robustness of the economic relations.
In a survey conducted by Hong Kong Trade and Development Council(HKTDC) during 2007, 75% of the enterprises reported that they have been affected by the new regulations, but still most of the enterprises surveyed, denied the news that they are thinking of relocating as this will erode their established competitiveness. Thus, this reflects the development of integrated clusters that has characterized the development in Western PRD area.
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