Hong Kong + Macau + Shenzhen = "CHIFTA"?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 3/04/2008 03:19:00 AM
Chinese authorities now appear keen on upping the ante on Chinese pride by combining the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau with Guangdong on the mainland. It would make for a formidable combination, indeed. 2 out of 5 of the world's biggest container ports would be included--Hong Kong and Shenzhen--as would two of Asia's largest stock markets in those same towns. As yet, there are still barriers to the movement of people, goods, and capital between these places, but that may soon be history. The wall will likely fall.

It will be fascinating to see if the Chinese can create a metro area to rival New York, Tokyo, and other megalopolises. While there is no such thing as CHIFTA, the Mainland and Macau Closer Partnership Agreement and the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Partnership Agreement are for real in reducing those barriers mentioned above. Both point in the direction of greater integration of the Pearl River Delta. To bind them all in sickness and health, for richer and poorer is the projected Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macau bridge. While Americans vie to out-Tancredo each other in retreating from the world stage, the Chinese are seizing the day. What more can I say? Welcome to the Asian century. From the China Daily:
A large-scale investigation is under way to consider the establishment of an economic cooperation zone encompassing Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. On Sunday, Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po said the zone will be the biggest metropolis in the country, based on integration and cooperation on trade, culture and other social activities between the three regions.

The investigation, which was launched in January, is being led by Wang Yang, Party secretary of Guangdong province, the newspaper said. In addition, 23 provincial government departments and research institutes are involved in looking at nine key areas, including the zone's impact on the country and the benefits to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. Both Hong Kong and Macao attach great importance to the study and will give it their full cooperation, the report said.

Zheng Tianxiang, a professor at the Hong Kong and Macao research institute of Sun Yat-sen University, told China Daily: "To build up the cooperation zone, mayors, governors and the SARs' chief executives must hold regular meetings. The regions should cooperate in all regards to remove administrative obstacles," he said.

If the central government approves the development of the zone, Guangdong will be given greater powers over social and financial administration, the newspaper report said. The zone is expected to eliminate barriers to the flow of capital and personnel across the three regions, it said.

Wang Yang said: "The goal is to combine the three regions into a world-class, integrated economic zone that can rival New York, Tokyo and other super metropolises."