The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, known as the world’s manufacturing hub, should make better use of its advantages in industrial development and land scale to promote innovation, experts have urged.
Different from Beijing and Shanghai, the Bay Area’s innovative achievements in the past few years are not attributed to the region’s educational resources, such as universities, but to its enterprises, said Wan Lu, deputy head of the Institute of Economics at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences.
Industry is the Bay Area’s root of innovation and our focus should be placed on how to help enterprises in the region innovate and keep industry strong
deputy head of the Institute of Economics at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences
Innovation and industrialization are intertwined, he told a forum in Shenzhen on Friday. “You cannot make good innovations without industrialization. And with no innovation, industrialization cannot go beyond.”
“Industry is the Bay Area’s root of innovation and our focus should be placed on how to help enterprises in the region innovate and keep industry strong,” said Wan.
He noted that apart from the institutional advantage of “one country, two systems”, another edge of the Bay Area is its land scale. The southern region is more than 1.5 times the size of the Tokyo Bay Area and 2.5 times that of the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Such a massive land size enables us to develop metropolitan areas and city clusters inside it, through which we can divide different parts of the industrial chain to different areas according to their comparative advantages, thereby producing a synergy effect and reducing costs. This will be a very important new advantage for us,” Wan said.
Fu Zhengping, deputy head of the Institute of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Development Studies at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, called for the connectivity of infrastructure in the Bay Area to be further strengthened.
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“Innovation comes from exchanges, collision of ideas and the flow of people,” he said. “Greater efforts should be made to improve infrastructure in cities so that the ‘one-hour living circle’ can truly be established.”
As the research and development expenditure of universities in Western countries dwindles to sluggish economies, it’s now the right time for the Bay Area to absorb talent, Fu said.