China Daily recently held its ninth “New Era Lecture Hall” at the MGM Macau Hotel, inviting many leaders from political, business and academic circles to discuss the Greater Bay Area.
Distinguished guests included Pansy Ho, co-chairperson of MGM China and managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, Zhang Weiwei, dean of the China Research Institute at Fudan University, John Ross, director of the National High-end Think Tank Council, and Allan Zeman, non-executive chairman of Wynn Macau, who is also known for his development of the Lan Kwai Fong entertainment area in Hong Kong.
Pansy Ho said she had personally promoted and witnessed the increasing integration of the GBA’s cities in the more than 20 years she had worked in Macau. Her focus going forward would be on how the GBA could further highlight the important role of culture and art in society. Given the region’s deep cultural affinity, she believes that a deepening of communication and cooperation in the GBA should strengthen the sharing of talent and economic resources.
Macau must form its own unique DNA, Ho added, and in so doing, could make full use of national policy. Building a world tourism and leisure center can be achieved, which will also help to promote Macau’s diversified economic development.
Zhang Weiwei pointed out that China’s success lies in finding its own development path and an effective institutional system. China’s steady economic development in a mixed-economy model and the peaceful rise of the “selection plus elections” and “consultative democracy” systems have implications for other developing countries, and the world has seen the significant advantages of the Chinese system.
He emphasized that the construction of the GBA is a major strategy implemented by the country and an important part of the “China model”, which has brought major opportunities and challenges to Hong Kong and Macau. The GBA’s cities carry out healthy competition, deepen the division of labor and cooperation, and jointly improve the value chain and supply chain. They will give out a strong innovation vitality and development momentum, and will effectively promote China’s economic development and benefit the people of the world.
John Ross said that the GBA is one of the most important economic centers in the world, and plays an important role in the global value chain. He is full of confidence in the development of the GBA, and compares it favorably with the San Francisco Bay Area, as both are centers of global high-tech development. Although California is the most technologically advanced state in the United States, its infrastructure construction has fallen behind. China has caught up with and surpassed the United States in many ways. He suggested that in areas where science and technology are developed, special emphasis should be placed on cultural support.
Allan Zeman believes that the GBA has a unique combination of the world’s leading manufacturing base, as well as hubs for international finance, tourism and leisure. Together with its huge consumer markets, there is no doubt it will succeed. However, he said that the region’s future depends on the younger generation, and he appealed to young people in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau to broaden their horizons, strengthen their awareness of innovation, and actively invest in the construction of the GBA.