"The next step is to accelerate the connectivity of infrastructure in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), including the area's interchange construction and connection with outside," said Ge Changwei, the director-general of the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission and the director-general of the Office of the Leading Group for the Construction of the GBA.
Ge made the remarks on the first news conference for the third plenary session of the 13th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress.
The GBA consists of the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR as well as the municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong (nine PRD cities).
According to the outline development plan of the GBA, infrastructural development should be boosted by enhancing external and internal connectivity.
Regarding the transit construction of the nine PRD cities, it will accelerate the construction of the Guangzhou-Shantou high-speed rail, and will start the construction of the Shenzhen-Shantou high-speed rail this year. In addition, the province will start the construction of the Jiangmen-Zhaoqing high-speed rail that will be an important part of the Shenzhen-Nanning high-speed rail.
As for the highway development, Guangdong will boost the construction of the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge and Hunangmaohai Bridge. According to Ge, the intercity railway planning for the GBA has been submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission, which will be implemented in the first half of this year.
The connection between the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong and Macao will be enhanced. The Huanggang Port in Shenzhen will be expanded for better serving the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hongkong Express Rail. And the new Hengqin Port in Zhuhai will be opened in the first half of this year as well.
The Shenzhen Airport. (Photo by Nanfang Daily)
In order to build an international bay area, other connectivity including more simplified clearance is concerned greatly by people in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
Hence, some innovative measures have been launched. For instance, the 'Joint Inspection & One-time Release' customs clearance has been put into operation in the Zhuhai Channel of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
And the 'two checkpoints in one place' has been adopted by the West Kowloon Station in the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway.
In the coming year, the new Hengqin Port will take the above customs clearance model, and the Shenzhen Bay Port will provide a 24-hour customs clearance service, which will be easier for commuting compared with the current 12-hour service.
According to the statistics, the expressway mileage in the GBA has reached over 4,700 kilometers, with a density of 8.5 kilometers per 100 square kilometers of land area, which is higher than that in the Tokyo Bay Area and London.
At present, the mileage of railway in the GBA is 2,100 kilometers, 1,232 kilometers of which are high-speed railway.
Last year, the throughput of airports in the GBA reached 233 million and the container shipping handled over 85 million TEU, ranking 1st among city-groups and the four bay areas in the world.
And the throughput growth was over 5% in both the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and the Shenzhen Airport, leading the world in terms of this aspects.
Authors: Will, Zero (Intern)
Editors: Olivia, Nan, Monica