Supersize investments into five Chinese metropolis regions are already underway

8 Apr, 2021 03:27
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong April 8, 2021 – The 14th Five-Year Plan sets out new targets for China’s urban growth. These include plans to facilitate about half of the rural migrants to settle in five super-city clusters, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (Jing-Jin-Ji), the Yangtze River Delta, the Mid-Yangtze River area, the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and the more recently announced Chongqing-Chengdu city cluster.

While there are other smaller city clusters, these five groupings are notably being promoted as regional power-house socio-economic and cultural centers. Each will be designed to enable both “domestic circulation” and serve as hubs in facilitating “external circulation” between China and the global economy.

Taken together, the populations of these megacities will be a staggering 600 million people – equivalent to that of the European Union and Russian Federation combined.

China’s process of urbanization is, of course, decades old. It is considered essential in enabling the country’s ambitious economic growth strategies. This ongoing movement of people from rural communities to urban environments will likely continue for the foreseeable future with the possibility that the urbanization ratio could rise to three-quarters of the population, by 2030, from under two-thirds currently. This will roughly mean up to 220 million additional urban residents – the current population of Brazil, Latin America’s largest country – over the coming decade.

Supersize investments into these regions are already underway, partly explaining the recent infrastructure boom and accompanying soaring global base metal commodities prices. In this effort, central and provincial governments are channeling record-level funds to boost smart grid technology, new high-speed rail, state-of-the-art 5G networks, autonomous driving and electric vehicles, other forms of advanced mobility, and big-data systems.

To comprehend these modern and colossal new urban growth policies, one may consider the example of the GBA. Being an integral part of the 14th Five Year Plan, it is an initiative to foster comprehensive and seamless regional economic and financial integration between Guangdong province’s principal cities, such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with various Pearl River Delta urban areas, including Hong Kong and Macao. In all, the GBA’s population would account for up to 70 million people, with the highest income per capita in the country, and a total GDP of about US$1.3 trillion, similar to that of South Korea.

At the current rate of development, the GBA has already been transformed into a key international hub for advanced manufacturing. It also hosts several of the world’s most highly innovative tech companies. These are complemented by a growing soft infrastructure of finance, tourism, leisure, and other creative industries. In this capacity, Hong Kong is being primed as the ideal financial and professional services center acting as a platform for international capital flows between global finance hubs and the GBA, in addition to other megacities, across China.