Zhuhai-Macau economic cooperation and transport links development highlighted in 2021-2026 plan

Economic cooperation and transport links with Macau are to be further developed in the next five years, Zhuhai and Guangdong authorities indicated in the plenary sessions held for the official launch of the national 14th Five-Year Plan.

The 10th Plenary Session of the 8th CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee meeting was held on January 11, with the 4th Session of the 13th Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress opening on January 24 in Guangzhou.

In its 2021 Government Work Report for the past five-year plan, Guangdong authorities considered that infrastructure connectivity in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was boosted significantly with the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and new Hengqin Checkpoint.

Greater Bay Area cooperation was also aid to have picked up pace with an inflow of Hong Kong and Macau-funded enterprises to Hengqin New Area. 

Provincial authorities now expect Zhuhai to expand its advantages in the “smart” household appliance, biomedicine, and aviation and aerospace industries, with Hengqin New Area to further develop into a Guangdong-Macao cooperation zone and International Leisure Tourism Island.

Construction of the Guangdong-Macao Cross-Border Financial Cooperation (Zhuhai) Demonstration Zone in Hengqin is also to be accelerated, with Macau residents to be offered high-quality living space and public services in Zhuhai.

Meanwhile, the Guangzhou-Zhuhai-Macao Science & Technology Innovation Corridor will settle with major sci-tech infrastructures and scientific research platforms, while the Hengqin and the National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (Tangjiawan) will further cooperate to bring in global innovative technologies, enterprises, and talents.

The Zhuhai Municipal People’s Government has also revealed that 12 major transportation project will be completed, with 16 to be initiated and another 51 to move forward, with several infrastructure projects involving the Macau SAR.

Construction will begin on local sections of the Guangzhou-Zhuhai (Macao) high-speed railways, which include the Guangzhou-Jiangmen-Zhuhai-Macao and Guangzhou-Zhongshan-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed railways.

Expressways will also be built to directly link Zhuhai-Macao with the Shenzhen-Hong Kong and Guangzhou-Foshan clusters for the formation of a one-hour transport cycle in the Greater Bay area.

The Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway is also already connected with the new Hengqin Port with the Macau Light Rapid Transit system expected to connect with the new checkpoint.

Inaugurated last year the new Henqgin Port is open 24 hours a day, with a maximum capacity of up to 220,000 people a day and 80 million a year, although the Cpovid-19 pandemic has so far significantly reduced reported border crossings.

The 60,000 square metres intercity railway Hengqin Station is already the second-largest underground railway station in the country.

An area in the railway infrastructure is also reserved for another connection to the adjacent New Guangdong-Macao Channel (Qingmao Checkpoint), which is under construction.

A 39.48 kilometres Zhuhai Airport Urban Rail Transit will reduce travel time between the Gongbei Border and Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport to half an hour.

Zhuhai city authorities have also indicated that ferry route from Jiuzhou Port to Taipa will also be launched in 2021.