SOURCE / ECONOMY
Hong Kong to build new logistics centers to boost trade and position as international aviation hub
Integration of GBA to be upgraded
Published: Oct 16, 2021 03:19 AM
The view of OH Bay Park and Qianhai in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on August 21. China in September announced to deepen opening-up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. 
Photo: cnsphoto

The view of OH Bay Park and Qianhai in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on August 21. China in September announced to deepen opening-up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. Photo: cnsphoto



As China moves ahead with an agenda to facilitate the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), upgrading integration becomes the priority. Developing new roles for cities in the area while strengthening its current role is also important to explore. 

Among the initiatives, Hong Kong will build a new logistics center at its major airport and in Dongguan in Hong Kong's neighboring province Guangdong in South China, targeting high value-added third-party logistics services and facilitating intermediary trade, according to Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region (HKSAR).

The new logistics centers are aimed at boosting the intermediary trade in Hong Kong and strengthening Hong Kong' status as the international aviation hub of the GBA.

The Pearl River International Trade Forum is held in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday during the 130th Canton Fair. Photo: Chi Jingyi/GT

The Pearl River International Trade Forum is held in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday during the 130th Canton Fair. Photo: Chi Jingyi/GT



New plan


A new high-end logistics center will be built in the cargo area of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to facilitate high value-added third-party logistics services, and expected to be put into use by 2023, said Chan on Friday at a sub-forum focusing on the development of the GBA under the Pearl River International Trade Forum held in Guangzhou.

The Pearl River International Trade Forum was held for the first time during the Canton Fair. Also marking the first time the Canton Fair hosted a national-level international trade forum.

Chan also said that the Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA) is actively developing a multi-modal cargo transport service to enable seamless transfer of mainland exports through the HKIA to other parts of the world.

According to Chan, the AA is planning to set up a "Hong Kong International Airport Logistics Park" in Dongguan, where mainland exports can complete customs clearance, security checks and other procedures and be transported by sea to the cargo terminal in the restricted area of the HKIA for direct transshipment to the rest of the world. Dongguan is about 100 kilometers away from the Hong Kong airport.

Air cargo imports for the Chinese mainland can access the same channel for fast custom clearance.

Trade between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in 2020 stood at HK$4.25 trillion ($546 billion), which means that the trade with the mainland accounted for nearly 52 percent of Hong Kong's total trade, according to statistics from the Census and Statistics Department of the HKSAR.

As Hong Kong enjoys increasingly intimate economic and trade relations with the mainland, experts attending the forum and many exhibitors and buyers told the Global Times at the Canton Fair that Hong Kong should be more integrated into the country's overall development agenda.

Ying Xiuzhen, a veteran trader from Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang Province who has attended all the 55 offline Canton Fairs since her first participation in 1992, told the Global Times that Hong Kong was integrated into the mainland economy very early, dating back to the 1980s in the early days of reform and opening-up.

"At that time, most of our customers were Hong Kong intermediaries who had many customers all over the world and placed orders to mainland enterprises. Now that the mainland is developing at a fast pace, Hong Kong should be more integrated into the country's economic development," Ying said.


Aerial photo taken on Dec. 9, 2020 shows a view of Honghe Bridge of Hezhou-Gaolan Port Highway on the Pearl River estuary in south China's Guangdong Province. Upon completion, the 35-km highway will be an important channel linking the west bank of the Pearl River estuary and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

Aerial photo taken on Dec. 9, 2020 shows a view of Honghe Bridge of Hezhou-Gaolan Port Highway on the Pearl River estuary in south China's Guangdong Province. Upon completion, the 35-km highway will be an important channel linking the west bank of the Pearl River estuary and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

Booming economy


China's booming economy is attracting more domestic buyers to the Canton Fair, several exhibitors from Macao told the Global Times on Friday.

"I have participated in nearly every Canton Fair for 10 years. And surprisingly, this year I saw many 'new faces' among the buyers who attended. Many international buyers still choose to participate in the event online. But we can see an increasing number of domestic buyers. I am so confident that our orders will boom this year," a staff member of a Macao-based international trading company told the Global Times.

The 130th Canton Fair, which kicked off on Thursday, for the first time focuses on promoting dual circulation - domestic and international.

"Amid the pandemic that severely hit global trade, the participation of domestic buyers really gives us confidence," an exhibitor representing Malaysian products told the Global Times on Friday.

China's huge market is predicted to drive the world economy and post-pandemic development, Huang Qifan, vice president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said Friday at the Pearl River International Trade Forum. 

"As the country is increasing its imports, over the next decade, China's cumulative imports of goods and services are expected to reach $27 trillion, with goods imports reaching $22 trillion and service imports totaling $5 trillion," Huang said.

In addition to promoting the development of trade, shipping and logistics,Chan said that Hong Kong also plans to rebuild the Air Mail Centre at HKIA to enhance its efficiency and capacity. "With the opening of the third runway in 2024, HKIA will handle more than 9 million tons of air cargo annually, which can meet the demand for more than 10 years in the future and facilitate the rapid development of e-commerce trade in the region."
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