Zhuhai: a core city on the west bank of the Pearl River and an innovation centre in the Greater Bay Area
Zhuhai, one of the first Special Economic Zones in China, is at the Pearl River estuary meeting the South China Sea and at the centre of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area. It is 120 kilometres away from Guangzhou to the north, 36 nautical miles away from Hong Kong to the east and connected to Macao to the south, which makes it an important link between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. Since the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge opened to traffic in 2018, Zhuhai has become the only Mainland city that is connected to both Hong Kong and Macao by road, further enhancing its advantageous location.
Zhuhai is the second-largest port city (behind Shenzhen) in China. It has 10 national first-class ports, including five land ports of Gongbei, Hengqin, Qingmao, Zhuhai Port of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge and the Zhuhai–Macao Cross-border Industrial Zone, and five sea ports of Jiuzhou Port, Wanzai Port Passenger Ferry Transport, Zhuhai Port, Doumen Port and Wanshan Port.
The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area puts forward the idea of “leveraging the leading roles of the strong combinations of Hong Kong−Shenzhen, Guangzhou−Foshan and Macao−Zhuhai and leading the Greater Bay Area in participating in international co-operation in great intensity”. As a key node city in the Greater Bay Area, Zhuhai is proactively supporting the development of the city cluster.
Scaling up and strengthening the “4+3” industry cluster
Zhuhai received the title of “A Leading City in Business Attractiveness” in the 2022 Analysis Report on Chinese Cities’ Overseas Influence, which was jointly released by Cankaoxiaoxi and Xinhua News Agency’s News Information Center. Zhuhai is focusing on scaling up its four leading industries, namely the new-generation information technology, new energy, integrated circuits, and biomedicine and healthcare, and at the same time strengthening its three advantageous industries of smart household appliances, equipment manufacturing and fine chemical. It is accelerating the development of its modern industries and striving to achieve a total industrial output value of over RMB1trn by 2025. In the first 10 months of 2022, the added value of Zhuhai’s industrial enterprises above the designated size (namely enterprises with an annual main business income of RMB20m and above) was RMB121.916bn, which recorded an 8.9-per-cent year-on-year increase and ranked first in Guangdong Province in terms of growth rate. During the same period, the city’s industrial investment grew by 64.9 per cent, which was also top of the province.
Currently, there are more than 1,200 companies above the designated size in the “4+3” industry cluster, accounting for 72 per cent of the city’s total number of industrial enterprises above the designated size. Among these enterprises, there are many “little giants”, “hidden champions” and owners of RMB10bn projects. All of this is proof that Zhuhai’s industry chain is improving, industry cluster is growing from strength to strength and industrial ecology is getting better and better.
Zhuhai National Foreign Trade Transformation and Upgrading Base (Household Appliances)
Approved by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the Zhuhai National Foreign Trade Transformation and Upgrading Base (Household Appliances) has Gree Electric Appliances, Inc. of Zhuhai at its core and the support from a large number of small, medium-sized and large enterprises. The base has established a comprehensive industrial system to manufacture household appliances, including air-conditioners, small kitchen appliances, LCD TVs and video doorbells. The base generates significant economic benefits and features a complete upstream and downstream industry chain. In addition, it is home to a number of brands and outstanding innovations. With an average annual industrial output value of close to RMB150bn, an annual total volume of imports and exports of about RMB60bn and more than 70,000 accumulative patents, the base is a strong driver of high-quality economic development in Zhuhai.