More than half of international businesses believe the Greater Bay Area (GBA) is set to experience higher growth than the rest of China, as revealed in our 2021 Navigator survey. This belief is especially strong across the APAC region, as 61% of Singaporean firms and 74% of Malaysian businesses make a similar prediction – as close neighbours, they can see for themselves the gathering momentum.
Despite being the youngest region in China, the GBA is already home to several leading global corporates, and financial institutions. In 2020, the Global Fortune 500 reported over 20 companies with headquarters in the GBA, and almost 100 financial institutions – banks, and securities and insurance – employing and nurturing around 13% of financial services talent nationwide.1 As a region not only rich in capital, but also in talent, it is extremely attractive for business growth prospects right now.
The GBA benefits from its ability to leverage the diverse strengths of its constituent cities, which are known on the world stage for innovation within technology, finance, advanced manufacturing, and hospitality.2 While Hong Kong is renowned as being an international finance hub, Shenzhen is a haven for tech and innovation, Macau is leading the way in tourism and leisure, and Guangzhou is often regarded as a manufacturing and trade centre.
But it’s not just what these cities can create and provide, it’s where they are and how they operate together that appeals to international businesses. The GBA’s unique infrastructure presents a golden opportunity of connectivity to China and the rest of the world. The Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) in particular, greatly shortens the traveling time between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other cities, and enables greater footfall in the region. While the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point land boundary crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen has helped to foster the flow of people and goods to further economic development in the GBA.