Huge improvements to transportation in the Greater Bay Area “is going to be a game changer,” said Sam Farrands, Head of Projects at King & Wood Mallesons, speaking at a Chamber roundtable on 4 October. “This transport infrastructure will change all our lives.”
The new road, rail, air and sea links will make it easier for people to travel for work and business across the whole region.
“But the exciting thing is the social infrastructure that will need to be built,” Farrands said. This means venues for pop concerts, stadiums for sports competitions, museums, theme parks and other leisure facilities.
For example, Guangdong has planned 900 billion RMB in sports investment by 2025. “There will be a major sports park in every major city by 2025,” he added.
Referring to Mariah Carey’s recent show in Macao, Farrands noted that global superstars – whether singers or soccer teams – do not often come to Hong Kong, given its small population. But once the transport links are all up and running, the “economic hinterland” will grow to around 86 million people.
These developments have the potential to create huge opportunities for investors and operators in industries including tourism, retail, hotel development and events management.
However, Farrands also acknowledged that there would be challenges ahead, due to the different tax and legal systems, entrepreneurial risk, and the lack of professional recognition in the Mainland.