The National 13th Five-Year Plan proposes to “encourage Hong Kong and Macao to play an important role in promoting cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, and advance the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and major trans-provincial cooperation platforms”. The Report on the Work of the Government adopted at the 5th Session of the 12th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China in 2017 proposes to “promote the deepening of cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, explore and formulate the development plan for a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, capitalise on the unique advantages of Hong Kong and Macao in order to enhance their roles and functions in the national economic development and the opening up to the outside world”, symbolising that the development of the Greater Bay Area city cluster has become a national development strategy.

Witnessed by President Xi Jinping, the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Greater Bay Area was signed in July 2017 by Director of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng, Governor of Guangdong Province Ma Xingrui, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Chui Sai On.

On 18 February 2019, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council announced the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which all regions and authorities are requested to implement with earnestness based on the actual situation.

The “9+2” Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area geographically covers the Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and nine cities in Guangdong Province, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing. The total land area is 56 thousand sq km, taking up 0.6% of the country’s total. Cities in the Greater Bay Area, which complement each other with their own strengths, will develop collaboratively to jointly promote interconnectivity of infrastructure, further enhance the level of market integration, and establish areas of cooperation such as the international technological innovation centre, with a view to establish together a Greater Bay Area of international excellence and a world-class city cluster.