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Thursday, March 01, 2018, 22:27
Shenzhen economy overtakes HK's to rank first in bay area
By Aska Cheong
Thursday, March 01, 2018, 22:27 By Aska Cheong

This Aug 18, 2004 file photo shows a view of the skyline of Shenzhen in Guangdong province across the border from Hong Kong. (SAMANTHA SIN / AFP)

HONG KONG - As Hong Kong released its 2017 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Shenzhen’s GDP has surpassed Hong Kong for the first time in history by real time exchange rate and come in first in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

In 2017, Hong Kong’s GDP grew 3.8 percent to HK$2.66 trillion ($339.9 billion), equivalent to 2.15 trillion yuan based on current exchange rate, while Shenzhen’s GDP reached 2.24 trillion yuan. The city also ascended in China’s GDP ranking to the third place, following to Shanghai and Beijing. 

However, the Shenzhen government applied a different calculation system. By an average exchange rate of 2017, Hong Kong’s GDP stood at 2.3 trillion yuan, 60 billion higher than Shenzhen’s GDP figure. This made Hong Kong still ahead of its neighboring city.  

With a population of 68 million and GDP amounting to US$1.4 trillion, the bay area is an enormous market for our financial and high-end services industries

Paul Chan, HK Financial Secretary

The per capita GDP of Hong Kong, at US$43,000, remains above Shenzhen’s and is among the highest in the world. 

ALSO READ: Shenzhen 'could outshine Hong Kong'

During Wednesday’s 2018-19 Budget announcement the government forecast GDP will increase between 3 and 4 percent this year, driven by a global upturn and strong domestic demand.

In contrast the average year-on-year growth rate in the past 10 years was just 2.9 percent. 

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said Hong Kong and Shenzhen could cooperate rather than compete. Completion of key transport infrastructure projects will make travel within the Greater Bay Area very convenient, Chan said.

Shenzhen and Hong Kong could cooperate in innovation and technology industries and land-resource use and offer more convenience to Hong Kong people, he said. 

The Greater Bay Area has strategic importance for Hong Kong in three key aspects­ – “two markets”, “innovation and technology industries” and “land resources”, Chan said.

“With a population of 68 million and GDP amounting to US$1.4 trillion, the bay area is an enormous market for our financial and high-end services industries,” the financial secretary said.  

READ MORE: Greater Bay Area predicted to double its economic growth

A booming high-tech sector gave Shenzhen, home to 13 million people, its record-breaking GDP, according to the city’s official data. A group of leading mainland tech firms, including internet giant Tencent, Huawei and drone maker DJI, are based in the city.

In just six years, Shenzhen has doubled its economic output. The city’s nominal GDP was 1.1 trillion yuan in 2011.


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