The 34-mile road bridge linking Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland will provide a further boost for the Chinese economy – and improve accessibility for businesses looking to break in to this key economic zone.
That’s according to Bristol and West of England China Bureau Chief Executive Dianne Francombe, who said the latest engineering achievement was a wakeup call for businesses in the West.
She said: “The new road bridge is the world’s longest sea crossing and includes a seven kilometre tunnel to allow marine traffic to pass over the top.
“The bridge will build a stronger economy and make the region more accessible for companies seeking to trade in the Guangdong region, enabling people to transfer directly from Hong Kong airport to Zhuhai in southern Guangdong Province and then by high speed train links to other parts of the country.
“This will improve travel options and ease of access between Hong Kong and mainland China. West businesses using Hong Kong as their entry platform to mainland China and the Greater Bay area will benefit from this new route and open up the rest of mainland China.”
Dianne Francombe said the Bureau had helped nurture the first green roots of trade linking West firms with their counterparts in China over the last 18 years or so – helping to convince managements they can break down the cultural and language barriers and do business in China.
“The bridge cost around £15 billion and will create a new economic powerhouse including Hong Kong, Macau Shenzhen and Zhuhai – a supercluster of 11 cities with a population of 68 million to compete with Silicon Valley in the United States.”
Bristol and West of England China Bureau director Richard Lowe, who has recently returned from Hong Kong, added: “The overall initiative is to increase the speed of distribution and to reduce travel times which will create a strategic advantage for the region.
“Think of it as a huge roundabout connecting the key cities and provinces across the Greater Bay area and linking together Hong Kong and Macau with a physical bridge between mainland China.”
Richard said along with the Belt and Road Initiative, the new bridge would result in faster delivery of products.
“When all of these infrastructure projects are complete and joined up, China will have tremendous capabilities for businesses producing and distributing products. One thing is for sure, this will all provide greater speed and flow of distribution, not simply in China, but across the world.”