Major opportunities loom as the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) reflects on its accomplishments and strives for a higher level of modernization and internationalization during its 41st year, which began Aug 26.
The leading factor is growth of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area supported by four decades of Zhuhai steadily boosting moderate diversification of Macao's economy using Hengqin New Area as a Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone.
As of early August, Hengqin held more than 4,500 Macao-funded enterprises – the highest concentration in the Chinese mainland. Total registered capital reached 137.16 billion yuan ($21.16 billion).
Since its establishment in 2015, the Hengqin Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has instituted 530 reform and innovative measures, of which three were selected into the Best Practices of National Pilot FTZs.
Cross-border finance, work, study, and medical treatment have become a reality in Hengqin with connectivity of the rules and regulations in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao.
For instance: Macao residents now process Zhuhai social insurance affairs online. Drivers of single-plate vehicles from Macao are covered by a lifetime service plan that helps them adapt to Hengqin road conditions. Construction of Macao New Neighborhood is underway to offer Macao residents the facilities and public services they are accustomed to.
In addition to deepened cooperation with Macao, during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20) Zhuhai's real economy volume rose from 10th in the province to 6th with an annualized growth rate of regional GDP of 7.4 percent.
The SEZ is now fostering five 100-billion-yuan ($15-billion) strategic emerging industrial clusters related to integrated circuits, biomedicine, new materials, new energy, and high-end printing equipment. High-end equipment manufacture industries such as aviation and aerospace are being expanded with the introduction and cultivation of leading enterprises.
A transport hub is emerging on the west bank of the Pearl River Estuary since the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in 2018 and a growing land-sea-air transport network is taking shape.
To improve quality of life, Zhuhai is investing 238 million yuan ($36.7 million) to address 3,143 trivial, urgent, and difficult issues concerning the community. As of late July, there were 3,090 projects initiated, of which 1,955 are completed.
The city had 733 parks of various types by the end of 2020. Residents will soon be able to reach a green space within a radius of 300 m (328 yd) of their homes, and a park within 500 m (547 yd).
Meanwhile, 54 civic arts centers have come into operation across the city. Every residential community has access to sports parks, and citizens in urban areas can reach fitness facilities within 10 minutes.
Zhuhai has been named one of China's Top 10 Happiest Cities (prefecture-level) byOriental Outlookmagazine and Liaowang Institute think tank five times and it is in the running this year for the sixth.
The city is expected to have a population of 3 million and GDP of more than 600 billion yuan ($92.6 billion) in 2025. It will be home to 5 million permanent residents with GDP of 2 trillion yuan ($309 billion) in 2035.