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Thursday, November 07, 2019, 00:53
First UN study on Bay Area to start soon
By Oswald Chan
Thursday, November 07, 2019, 00:53 By Oswald Chan

The first study of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will be conducted soon.

The study is undertaken by the Greater Bay Area Impact Forum Foundation – a non-government-organization based in Hong Kong to promote research projects of the Bay Area.  Independent research institute Policy 21 Hong Kong and business service advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong will assist in the public consultation process.

Hong Kong is the right place for conducting the research as its private business sector thrives here. The city is a leading financial center that can provide funding for sustainable projects. It can also leverage its technology and innovation capabilities to promote sustainable projects

George Lam, president of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Sustainable Business Network Executive Council 

The aim of the UNSDG indicator ranking in the 11-city cluster is to examine how cities in the region can incorporate sustainable goals in development planning and policy making. City governments, local and overseas researchers and community stakeholders can identify strengths and weaknesses; opportunities and threats in promoting sustainable growth.

“If the UNSDG ranking on the Bay Area could be accomplished, then it may help the Chinese mainland solicit a higher ranking in the overall UNSDG assessment,” said Judy Tsui, senior advisor to the Greater Bay Area Impact Forum Foundation.

The Greater Bay Area Impact Forum Foundation will spend the next three months gathering published statistical information and identifying cases. It will then spend half a year reaching out for unpublished statistical information and conducting case studies.  Preliminary findings on SDG indicators and case study findings will then be released.

George Lam – president of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Sustainable Business Network Executive Council – urged Hong Kong to take the lead in implementing the UNSDG study in the Bay Area, saying “impactful time is lying ahead”.

“Hong Kong is the right place for conducting the research as its private business sector thrives here. The city is a leading financial center that can provide funding for sustainable projects. It can also leverage its technology and innovation capabilities to promote sustainable projects,” he saId.

“The future development of the Bay Area could be more phenomenal than the Sicilion Valley in the United States, because the region is blessed with many ingredients, such as the robust stock market, smart tourism, connected logistics networks and advanced manufacturing facilities,” Lam added.

Member countries of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 to achieve sustainable development goals with regard to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

“The study will tell how each city in the Bay Area, based on its own comparative advantage, can achieve sustainability goals,” said Tsui. “The 11 cities are keen to learn how to promote sustainable growth.”

Tsui envisaged that the region can be a business-friendly area with digitalization of services, affordable smart city technologies, a rich culture mix, advanced tertiary education and research capabilities and inclusion of people with different culture, age and gender.

The Bay Area blueprint focuses on the central government’s plan to transform the city cluster area, comprising nine mainland cities in Guangdong province as well as the two SARs of Hong Kong and Macao, into a global innovation and technology hub and modern industrial system by facilitating the free flow of people, capital, goods and information within the region.

With an area of 56,000 square kilometers, the Bay Area had a population of 71 million and a gross domestic product of US$1.6 trillion at the end of last year, equivalent to 12 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

oswald@chinadailyhk


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