The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, was established as a special economic zone (SEZ) less than 40 years ago. Located just a few hours north of Hong Kong, the city has become a global manufacturing powerhouse, and today, Shenzhen is evolving into a high-tech center of innovation.
The towering skyline of Shenzhen is China's youngest metropolis. It was established 38 years ago, and the average age of the city's 11 million residents is just 33. Four percent of Shenzhen's GDP is spent on research and development – double the country's average.
Shenzhen is quickly closing the gap with Hong Kong, located just across the water, in GDP terms.
Guo Wanda, an expert in Hong Kong studies explained how the twin can cities collaborate to build the new Bay Area.
"Hong Kong's low taxes, highly efficient legal system, as well as its business environment have made it impossible for other cities, including Shenzhen, to replace it. One way for the cities to cooperate, I always say, is to establish links between the top universities in Hong Kong and the manufacturing sector in Shenzhen. A soup with these two elements mixed together would taste great! " said Wanda.
"With its high-end manufacturing and high-tech, high added-value production, Shenzhen could be an engine that powers the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and integrates resources in the region."
Today, Shenzhen's entrepreneurs no longer think about making cheap items. Instead, they focus on bringing new and unique products to the global market, which is helping China's manufacturing sector transform into a global leader in innovation.