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  • The Pearl River Delta Mega Urban-region

The Pearl River Delta Mega Urban-region

Internal Dynamics and External Linkages

Yue-man Yeung

English , 2005/01 Shanghai-Hong Kong Development Institute Ocasional Paper Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: China Studies

215 x 140 mm , 32pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-441-812-5

  • US$2.50

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After China adopted a bold policy initiative of economic reforms and openness in 1978, Guangdong and Fujian were the two provinces designated for their experimental implementation. The Pearl River Delta (PRD) region in Guangdong seized the opportunities offered by the gradual decentralization of authority and by the region's proximity to Hong Kong to launch a process of rapid economic and social transformation. By the 1990s, the rapid changes in Guangdong had consolidated across a broad spectrum of life. It was becoming clear that Hong Kong's integration with the PRD was being increasingly subject to the forces of globalization, and that the economic development taking place in the Greater PRD. As Hong Kong has celebrated the eighth anniversary of its handover in July 2005, it is opportune to revisit the issue of the evolution of the PRD into a mega urban-region. What have been the recent drivers of change and what prospects does the future hold for the region? This paper attempts to approach the subject by, first, examining the internal dynamics that have furthered the integration of the different jurisdictions of the region. They include spatial and economic changes, urban and regional reorganization, Hong Kong and Macau as catalysts of change, and investments in infrastructure. Second, along with the rapid internal integration, the external linkages of the GPRD are scrutinized. The external orientation was established with China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 2001, with vital implications for the region. In the same year, China also entered a trade pact with ASEAN, offering new economic and social links to the region. The formation of the Pan-Pearl River Delta (Pan-PRD) framework in 2004 is further accentuating the internal cohesiveness and external links of the GPRD. A short concluding section will assess the prognosis for the region by 2020.

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