In an effort to unite closer to motherland, Hong Kong and nearby Shenzhen will develop a high-level cooperation that will enhance its strength on many fronts.
A stronger rail and airport connection, smoother customs procedures at border crossings, and better people and information flow would be needed. For those who do not know yet, a new station extending KCR's reach to the Mainland has been inaugurated into service.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang envisioned Hong Kong to have ten million inhabitants which I think isn't too feasible. Now it may be, as long as it calls itself Metro Hong Kong-Shenzhen. The result will actually double the estimated population which will bring even more clout within the Pearl Delta Region.
"This partnership came under 'one country, two systems' - two neighboring cities with two different customs duty zones. We must remain clear- headed and must not underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead in this process for the two parties," he said.
Definitely there will be significant problems which are more than just birth pains.
3 + 46 = 1?
Fan, director of the National Economic Research Institute, cited a study which ranked Hong Kong No 3 and Shenzhen 46th in the list of business centers. When partnered, their ranking would rise to No 1. The mathematical formula doesn't work that way, and unfortunately in many occasions in real life as well.
Collaboration would propel both cities forward. But Columbia University sociology professor Saskia Sassen, said "getting bigger is not always better." And I think this should be the thing most planners of this amalgamation have to bear in mind.
She warned the two partners must know what they seek in the relationship. One must not assume the strength of the other simply because the two are united. Hong Kong is well-known as a financial center and Shenzhen as manufacturing backdoor. Will the trend continue? Yes, if it means benefits to Hong Kong and Shenzhen residents. And such difference in strengths are complementary and should bode well for both cities.
Hong Kong has a deep economic history, remarkable in its versatility and as a financial center, while Shenzhen's specialty lies in manufacturing, the service industry and an exchange for small and medium companies.