President's Memo

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Dear members,

If you are conducting business in Hong Kong, you will be well aware that a day now rarely passes without at least one mention of the GBA.

The three letter acronym stands for “Greater Bay Area,” a term borrowed from other successful business centers like San Francisco or Tokyo. On the southern tip of China however, GBA is being used to lump in 11 cities, 70 million people and a whopping near 12 percent of China’s gross domestic product into one big productive basket.

AmCham members generally welcome the Chinese government’s grand GBA plan as an important growth engine for the decade ahead.  Many sectors, such as manufacturing, product design and consumer sales are already engaged in business across the border. Now, however, we look forward to important breakthroughs building easier access, regulatory comfort and other added benefits in doing business all across the diverse area.

So far, the Greater Bay Area plan offers a big vision, but remains short on details and measurements for success. Helpful measures would include defining policy measures to support an opening up of borders and aligning international best practices. Key questions remain unanswered, such as a definition of laws and standards. There’s also still no real sense of how data, people, goods and capital will be allowed and encouraged to flow. A basic example would be free and open Internet access: easily doable in Hong Kong; not so easy on the Mainland.

AmCham is confident that the development of the GBA could rival other successful bay economies if it is planned and executed by following the model of Hong Kong’s world-class, market-driven economy and culturally diverse society. We also heavily encourage target-setting or KPIs to push change through so that executives can measure success and timing.

For more on AmCham’s view on the GBA from a sectoral perspective, please visit our website. We will also be holding many discussions as plans for the GBA emerge over coming months. Join us.