Pandemic, inflation to impact GBA economy in H2, Macau should start re-industrialization – study

The economic development of the Greater Bay Area in the second half of the year will still face the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the record-high global inflation, while Macau and Hong Kong should prepare for re-industrialization as the number of tourists plummets, the Blue Book of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area indicated.

The blue book is jointly published by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China),Guangdong Regional Development Blue Book Research Association,Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (Nansha) Reform and Innovation Research Institute in Guangzhou and the Guangzhou Development Research Institute of Guangzhou University.

The impact of the pandemic on the economy of the GBA in the second half of the year still needs to be taken seriously, while the global record-high inflation may cause global commodity price hikeand ledto imported inflation pressures on the GBA, thus constraining consumer demand and impacting the revenue of companies, the study stressed.

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its global growth forecasts and raised its projections for inflation, warning that the risks to the economic outlook are “overwhelmingly tilted to the downside.”

Global growth in 2023 is set to weaken further to 2.9 per cent, while the global inflation forecast for this year and next year is raised by nearly a full percentage point to 8.3 per cent and 5.7 per centrespectively, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the prolonged disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The greater bay area should further improve the regional cooperation and coordination mechanism, and strengthen the joint prevention and control of the pandemic between Guangdong, Macauand Hong Kong, the study suggests.

Also, Macau and Hong Kong should promote the process of reindustrialization in the context of the Greater Bay Area, adjust the economic structure, and drive moderate economic diversification.

The Blue Book pointed out that due to transferring light industry to the mainland and  missing opportunities to develop the information technology industry, some economic problems ofMacau and Hong Kong that were once hidden have begun to appear now,  including the shrinking of the manufacturing industry and single industry structure.

Meanwhile, the economic development of Macau and Hong Kong arehighly dependent on the external economic environment, and the two SARs have experienced significant impact in recent years as the number of tourists has dropped sharply due to the pandemic.

The two places need to accurately position themselves and take the development of the GBA as an opportunity to accelerate the re-industrialization process, the study suggests.

The two SARs not only have unique institutional advantages, but also have advantages in the fields of technology and finance, the study added.

Therefore, the Blue Book suggests that Macau and Hong Kong need to utilizetheir unique advantages to actively promote economic restructuring through technological innovation, digital transformation, and green infrastructure construction.