Shenzhen has established a comprehensive transportation system and an urban public traffic operation network after development in the past 40 years, forming the Shenzhen-Hong Kong half-hour economic circle and the Shenzhen-Guangzhou one-hour economic circle. The Shenzhong (Shenzhen-Zhongshan) Corridor, which is near completion, will connect Shenzhen and other Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area cities on the west bank closer.
Shenzhen Port is a collective name of a number of ports along parts of Shenzhen’s coastline. It has become a pivotal port for international container ships. The total container throughput of Shenzhen Port grew 0.13 percent to reach 25.7691 million TEUs in 2019, which was rated fourth globally. It has 211 international container routes and 26 international sister ports. In the first half of 2020, the total container throughput of Shenzhen Port reached 11.07 million TEUs. By the end of 2019, there were 157 berths, among which 76 for vessels with 10,000-ton deadweight (DWT) at Shenzhen Port.
Yantian Port has the highest density of ocean container liners in China with world-top container throughput. It is the only port in South China that can operate four 200,000 DWT super-large container ships at the same time. It has become the busiest container port in the world and the main foreign trade channel in South China.
Shenzhen Shekou Cruise Homeport is a modern and international cruise homeport, which is capable of mooring the world’s largest cruise vessels. It was inaugurated in November 2016. By the end of 2019, 17 international cruises operated by 11 cruise lines made a total of 263 stops at the Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport, which received 948,600 travelers.
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport has been positioned as an international aviation hub by the country. In 2019, the passenger throughput of the airport grew 7.26 percent to reach 52.932 million, among which 5.2544 million were international visitors, up 32.92 percent from the previous year. The cargo throughput of the Shenzhen airport increased 5.32 percent to 1.2832 million tons. The total passenger throughput of the Shenzhen airport reaches 14.2 million and the cargo throughput of the airport is 0.62 million tons in the first half year of 2020.
By the end of 2019, a total of 58 airline companies had had operations at the Shenzhen airport, with flights reaching 60 cities around the globe. In 2019, new flights to 18 international cities, including Rome, Nagoya and the Philippines city of Penang, were launched from the Shenzhen airport. The Shenzhen airport saw more than 5 million international travelers in 2019, becoming one of the busiest airports in the world.
Shenzhen is an important hub in the national railway network. A double-cross-shaped railway layout has been formed in Shenzhen with the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) and the Xiashen (Xiamen-Shenzhen) High-speed Rail which have been put into service, and the Ganshen (Ganzhou-Shenzhen) High-speed Rail that is under construction. The total mileage of railway operation reaches 193.33 kilometers, including the 47.8-km XRL section, the 46.48-km Xiashen Railway section, the 24-km Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway section, the 18-km Guangzhou-Shenzhen Intercity Rail section, the 34.05-km Pingnan Railway and the 23-km Pingyan Railway. The official operation of the Hong Kong section of XRL on Sept. 23, 2018 has shortened the travel time from downtown Shenzhen to Kowloon to 14 minutes, forming a half-hour living circle between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Intercity Railway north of the Shenzhen airport started service on Dec. 15, 2019, greatly improving the rail connection between the west part of Shenzhen and the other Pearl River Delta cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
In 2020, ten Metro lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11, extending 383 kilometers, are operating in Shenzhen. An 11.7-km-long tram line is in service in Longhua District. The trains of the city’s rail transit network run a daily 4,331 trips in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 4 percent. The Metro network and the tram line handled a total of 2.03 billion passengers in 2019, up 7.7 percent from the previous year. A record high 7.02 million passengers took Metro and the tram in one single day on Dec. 31, 2019. By the end of June 2020, Metro network handled 589 million passengers. The city’s Metro network ranked first in the country in 2019 in terms of the daily passenger flow intensity, at 19,200 people per kilometer. The daily passenger flow of the tram line reached 30,000, ranking first nationally. Shenzhen’s rail transit operation service has reached a higher level.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation
Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone
Located in the east bank of the Pearl River estuary and the western side of the Nantou Peninsula, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen covers an area of 14.92 square kilometers and consists of three areas of Guiwan, Qianwan and Mawan. The establishment of Qianhai, marked by the approval of the "Overall Development Planning for the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen" on August 26, 2010—the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, is a major strategic decision made by the Central Government. On April 27, 2015, the Qianhai and Shekou Free Trade Area was inaugurated. The free trade area focuses on the development of finance, modern logistics, information services, technological services, port services, shipping services and other emerging service industries, aiming to build an international financial center, a Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation center, a modern free trade center, and an international hub port in the area.
The Qianhai new international urban center has started to take shape since 2019. The main structures of 206 buildings have been completed, among them 77 buildings are high-rises above 100 meters. An urban road network has basically taken shape with the completion of 59 new roads and road sections in the area. Currently, four Metro lines are operating through the Qianhai & Shekou area with nine stations. Construction has accelerated on a number of major infrastructure projects including the Qianhai Comprehensive Transportation Hub and the Mawan Sea-crossing Passage. So far, the area has 154,000 registered enterprises. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation has been deepened in Qianhai, where Shenzhen-Hong Kong Link and Shenzhen-Macao Link of Easy Registration services were launched. The Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreign laws identification base was set up, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area meteorological observatory and forecast center was built.
In the first half year of 2020, Qianhai witnessed a positive growth of its major economic indicators. The added value of enterprises registered in Qianhai increased by 13.3 percent; the tax revenue increased by 1.8 percent; and the fixed asset investment increased by 6.3 percent. Qianhai’s actual used foreign investment reached US$2.889 billion in the first half, up 15.1 percent over the same period of last year. The amount accounted for 67.5 percent of Shenzhen’s total, 25.1 percent of Guangdong and 4.3 percent of the national total. The total import and export volume of Qianhai reached 464.07 billion yuan, an increase of 21.4 percent year-on-year. The Qianhaiwan Free Trade Port Area contributed 86.81 billion yuan to the total foreign trade, an increase of 61.5 percent. The role of Qianhai as a core engine of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area begins to take effect.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Exchange and Cooperation
Shenzhen gives full play to its advantages in technological innovation and geographical location. The city focuses on the needs of Shenzhen-Hong Kong youth development, including internship, entrepreneurship, employment and living. It has created innovative and entrepreneurial platforms including Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub. By the end of March 31, 2020, a total of 446 startup teams had been incubated at Shenzhen’s innovative and entrepreneurial platforms, among them 207 were Hong Kong teams, 14 were overseas startup groups and six were from Taiwan. Half of them had received financing. The city has carried out the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area internship plan for five consecutive years, offering accumulatively over 2,000 internship positions and receiving more than 20,000 Hong Kong students for exchanges. It has organized the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition for five years in a row, and hosted other events such as Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange Day and Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao Youth Cultural Exchange and Art Festival. The implementation of the Hong Kong and Shenzhen joint immigration inspection service at the West Kowloon Station Checkpoint and the launch of direct shuttle buses from and to Hong Kong Science Park provide more convenience for youth exchanges between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation in Other Aspects
A pioneering city that serves the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao, Shenzhen has always paid great attention to and actively pushes forward practical cooperation with Hong Kong in a number of fields including finance, education and health care. Financially, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Qianhai Joint Trading Center has opened and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Fund Town has been put into use. In education, Shenzhen is the first city on the Chinese mainland to introduce a policy that allows school-age children from Hong Kong and Macao to be enrolled in local public schools. In the health-care sector, the University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH), inaugurated in 2012, is the first public hospital on the Chinese mainland that adopts the Hong Kong management model. More than 9,300 people from Hong Kong have sought medical treatment at the HKU-SZH under the pilot Elderly Health Care Voucher Program, which is well-received. The first solely Hong Kong-funded specialized hospital on the Chinese mainland, C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital was opened in 2013, introducing advanced medical technology and mature Hong Kong services to the mainland.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone is located in the south of Futian District, Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, with a total area of 3.89 square kilometers. The Hong Kong Park on the south bank of Shenzhen River, commonly known as Lok Ma Chau Loop area, covers an area of about 0.87 square kilometers; the Shenzhen Park on the north side, including Huanggang Checkpoint area and Futian Bonded Zone, covers an area of about 3.02 square kilometers. Shenzhen and Hong Kong signed the“Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Developing the Lok Ma Chau Loop by Hong Kong and Shenzhen”on January 3, 2017. The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Guidelines on Building Shenzhen into a Pilot Demonstration Area of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics have both positioned the cooperation zone as a State-level major scientific and technological innovation cooperation platform. It is deemed as an important platform for exploring a collaborative development mode for Shenzhen and Hong Kong, innovating sci-tech management mechanism, and promoting the highly efficient and convenient flow of talent, capital, technology and information. Shenzhen and Hong Kong will give full play to their complementary advantages, and strive to build the cooperation zone into a model platform for technology innovation cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen
The China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen was inaugurated on April 27, 2015. As a crucial part of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Qianhai & Shekou area covers an area of 28.2 square kilometers and includes Qianhai and Shekou. Under the framework of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and based on Shenzhen’s experiences in building an international and market-oriented city ruled by law, the Qianhai & Shekou area will integrate resources in Shenzhen and Hong Kong and solicit resources from across the globe. With the aim of developing finance, logistics, information service, technology, port service, shipping and other emerging industries, the area will support co-development between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and become a producer services center in the Asia-Pacific region as well as an international pivot harbor in the world.
The Qianhai & Shekou area is going to be built into a new city center, according to an overall development plan for the area released by the end of 2018. The area will implement a three-year action plan to build the new city center, emphasizing industry-and-city integration, reduction in quantity and enhancement in quality, the overall development of the mountain and the sea, and a quality living environment. It will push forward a double improvement project of functionality and environment. The construction on major projects including Mawan Cross-Sea Passage started in 2018. The area has focused on cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Over 10,000 Hong Kong enterprises have settled in Qianhai with the total registered capital exceeding 1 trillion yuan, contributing nearly one quarter of the total tax revenue of Qianhai.
In 2018, Qianhai Mercantile Exchange was opened, New China Pension and other headquarter projects settled down, Qianhai SZ-HK Fund Town was put into use, and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub had attracted 31 youth startup teams from Hong Kong and Macao. It has released measures to facilitate the high-quality development of Qianhai, among which 11 institutional innovations were duplicated and promoted nationwide. The achievements of Qianhai have won the recognition of General Secretary Xi Jinping.
Greater Bay Area
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) comprises Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and nine Pearl River Delta cities, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing. Covering an area of 56,000 square kilometers, the GBA has a total population of more than 70 million and is one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China. It is strategically important in the overall development of the country.
On Feb. 18, 2019, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council unveiled the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. According to the plan, the GBA will be turned into a vibrant world-class city cluster, an international science and technology innovation hub, an important support pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative, a showcase for in-depth cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, and a quality living circle for living, working and traveling. Hong Kong, Macao, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will serve as core engines for regional development.
Shenzhen mainly leverages its leading role as a special economic zone, a national economic core city and a national innovation city, and strives to become a capital of innovation and creativity with global influence. Shenzhen aims to serve as a primary front of the construction of the GBA, push forward the projects linking the bay area and deepen Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macao cooperation. Shenzhen will strengthen its cooperation and partnership with Guangzhou and other cities in the construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao Science and Technology Corridor. Construction has started on Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Center. A variety of cultural exchange activities such as Shenzhen-Macao Innovation Week have been organized. The planning of other projects including Shenzhen-Macao Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Institute is under way, while the Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreign laws identification base and the GBA meteorological observatory and forecast center have been set up in Qianhai.
Shenzhen is a coastal city with a coastline of 260.5 kilometers and a sea area of 1,145 square kilometers under its jurisdiction.
The central authority proposed to develop Shenzhen, Shanghai and other cities into global marine central cities in the 13th Five-year Plan on the Development of the National Marine Economy released in June 2017. The Central Government stated in the Outline Development Plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area released in February 2019 that it supports Shenzhen to build a global marine central city. In August 2019, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued a guideline on supporting Shenzhen in building a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics, urging Shenzhen to speed up the construction of a global marine central city. Shenzhen’s positioning of a marine central city was reinforced in the “Decision on Accelerating the Building of Marine Central Cities to Become a Leading Power of Marine Economy.”
Shenzhen aims to actively push forward the development of its marine economy, and form a world-leading marine-related industry cluster. Shenzhen will focus on the construction of the western marine science and technology corridor—the Greater Airport Marine New Town-Qianhai —in its efforts to build a southern national marine science town. Shenzhen will build two marine science and technology innovation centers in its eastern and western parts, respectively, and improve its supporting industrial chain to boost the agglomeration of the marine industries. Shenzhen will endeavor to develop local marine enterprises, attract well-known marine enterprises to relocate their headquarters to the city, encourage more private enterprises to engage in marine-related businesses, and support the development of medium-sized, small and micro-sized marine companies.
Shenzhen aims to establish an innovation system of marine science and technology, and build a talent highland of professionals in the marine field. It will vigorously develop the higher education on marine science by setting up international marine universities and colleges and partnering with world renowned marine universities. Shenzhen will introduce three to five academician-led research teams to settle in the city, and establish one or two marine research institutes to attract more high-end talents in the marine field to work in the city.
Shenzhen is home to 270 marine enterprises with annual revenues exceeding 100 million yuan each, among which eight enterprises boast annual revenues surpassing 10 billion yuan each and 39 have annual revenues between 1 billion and 10 billion yuan. The total revenues of the 270 enterprises reached more than 500 billion yuan.
International Friendship Cities
Shenzhen has currently established friendship city relations or conducted regular friendly exchanges with 88 cities (regions) in 56 countries and regions around the world, including the U.S. city of Houston, Brazil’s Sao Paulo, Berlin of Germany, Osaka of Japan, Phnom Penh of Cambodia, Brisbane of Australia, Busan of South Korea, Milan of Italy and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates. Shenzhen has constantly promoted pragmatic cooperation with its international friendship cities in the fields of economy and trade, culture, science and technology, and vocational education. It has hosted the biennial Shenzhen International Friendship Cities Cultural Week five times. In 2019, the city initiated the Shenzhen Smart City Forum with International Friendship Cities to share achievements in the construction of smart cities and explore a universal solution for cities around the globe. Shenzhen has carried out nongovernmental diplomacy, city diplomacy and public diplomacy in an all-round, multi-level and wide-range way, and continuously pushed its international exchanges to a higher level.
Conference on International Exchange of Professionals
The Conference on International Exchange of Professionals (CIEP) was founded in 2001 and has been held for 17 sessions. It is a large-scale, high-level, comprehensive gathering that is geared at attracting foreign expert organizations, institutions and professionals to the Chinese mainland. CIEP has been organized by the former State Administration of Foreign Affairs and the Shenzhen Municipal Government since 2007. Every year, the conference welcomes organizations from more than 40 countries and regions such as the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. More than 35,000 experts, overseas students and professionals attend the annual meeting, and more than 10,000 projects have been launched.