(Yicai Global) Dec. 13 -- China is mulling the expansion of the Shanghai metropolitan area as it looks to link a number of cities around the East China region and develop the world’s largest bay area in a bid to boost local economic development and beat out Tokyo, New York and San Francisco.
The region would cover the metropolis and surrounding cities, such as Nantong, Suzhou, Ningbo and Zhoushan, to form a sigma-shaped (Σ) bay area, Zheng Xinli, deputy head of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told Yicai Global’s Beijing think-tank program in an interview. Plans also include a free trade zone to bring in capital, talent and goods.
Zheng believes that the new zone would help boost development of the upper and middle reaches along the Yangtze River, and China could use it as a springboard to break into the Pacific Rim economic area and create a powerhouse of global growth that Tokyo, New York and San Francisco don’t possess.
China should establish overall competitiveness by leveraging the Greater Bay Area, he added, suggesting the nation could build a waterway to connect ports in Shanghai with neighboring cities and as far afield as Chongqing in Southwest China.