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The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link Opened, Qianhai Embraces A New Engine for Expanding Opening-up


SHENZHEN, China, July 1, 2024 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/–

On June 30, The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link, a massive cross-sea passage in south China that features two bridges, two artificial islands and an underwater tunnel, opened to traffic at 3 p.m., Beijing Time.

The Shenzhen terminal of the link is located in Qianhai. The Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone states that spanning 24 kilometers, the link drastically reduces the time it takes to travel between the city of Zhongshan and the technology hub of Shenzhen — situated on opposite sides of the Pearl River Estuary in Guangdong Province — from two hours to approximately 30 minutes. It will reshape the road network layout of the Pearl River Estuary, significantly impacting the economic and social development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and further strengthen Qianhai’s position as a “transportation hub of the GBA”.

The link is considered one of the world’s most challenging cross-sea cluster projects to have been built. Qianhai is the starting point of the Shenzhen side of the link and also a key hub in Shenzhen that interacts with Hong Kong’s modern service industry. Convenient transportation will greatly improve the accessibility of the modern service industry and facilitate the expansion of high-end services. With the opening of the link, the modern service industry in Hong Kong will be able to more conveniently enter the broader mainland market from Qianhai.

It is expected that the financial services of Qianhai, including cross-border finance, offshore finance, and free trade (FT) accounts, will spread more quickly to the GBA. The cross-border investment and financing needs of cities such as Zhongshan and Jiangmen will be rapidly matched with Qianhai, Shenzhen on the opposite shore. In terms of logistics, Qianhai boasts several ports and an airport. As a free trade zone, it can provide high-quality transportation services for GBA cities, thus facilitating the rapid development of cross-border trade in the region. Furthermore, the exhibition industry will also benefit from Qianhai’s development. According to the Overall Development Plan for the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, various exhibitions will be jointly held in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, with the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center playing a key role in the initiative. Besides, Qianhai’s numerous institutional innovations in the legal field are expected to have a spillover effect. Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao joint law firms based in Qianhai, and Hong Kong and Macao lawyers certified to practice in Qianhai can conveniently extend their services to other cities in the GBA, thereby empowering its legal services to align with international standards.

According to Zheng Yongnian, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen and former Dean of the Institute for International Affairs, Qianhai undertakes a special mission in the national strategy, including seeking institutional innovations, pioneering reform and opening-up, and facilitating the integration and cooperation of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the release of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Over the past five years, the GBA has been continuously enhancing its physical and institutional connectivity, accelerating the development of the sci-tech innovation industry, and gathering young talents for entrepreneurial undertakings. China aims to develop the area into a world-class city cluster, a global technology and innovation center, and a livable, business-friendly location. Now, empowered by an upgraded transportation network, Qianhai will facilitate the integration of the GBA and help build it into a world-class platform from various aspects such as economy, finance, logistics, and legal services.

As the link further enhances personnel exchanges and resource flow among the GBA cities, Qianhai, serving as both a transportation hub and a focal point for high-quality development, is poised to seize historical opportunities, attract more global resources, and take targeted actions. With the opening and operation of this large-scale transportation project, Qianhai will have a new engine for further expanding opening-up.

Source: Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone