Guangzhou’s Nansha district is gearing up to become China’s next strategic hub for technological innovation and a hotbed for international talent, according to an ambitious new plan unveiled by the national government.
The China News Service reports that the 800-square-kilometre district, which includes a port and a space rocket plant, has been earmarked as “a key development zone” for the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Steps have been outlined in a plan released on Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, and the State Administration for Market Regulation.
According to the document, Nansha will implement a 144-hour visa-free transit policy for foreigners; house a high-end marine equipment manufacturing base; build an internationally leading cross-border investment and financing system; and play a dominant role in developing China’s unmanned vehicle sector (covering sea, land and air). The district aims to do all this sustainably, promoting low-carbon development.
In addition, the document contained plans to lure professionals from Macao, Hong Kong and further afield.
Analysts have praised the project as a way to attract more people to travel, work and start businesses in Nansha – as well as inject new vitality into the broader GBA.
However, the vice-chairman of the China Enterprise Capital Union, Bai Wenxi, warned that the district still needed to overcome several challenges. He listed Nansha’s transportation infrastructure, its competence around city planning and construction, and its capacity to train high-end talent.
He also advised Nansha to cooperate closely with authorities in both Macao and Hong Kong.