Hengqin port. Photo: China News Service

A new port to facilitate travel between Macau and Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, was officially put into use Tuesday, a new step to boost the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Dubbed a “super passage,” the main working area of the Hengqin port has a total floor area of 450,000 square meters, the equivalent to 63 football fields. It has a designed daily capacity for 222,000 passengers, which can help ease the pressure on Gongbei Port and increase the daily capacity for passenger flow between Guangdong and Macao.

Gongbei Port has long been the main passenger channel between Zhuhai and Macau. In 2019, the port saw a total of 145 million passengers, ranking first in China for eight consecutive years.

However, the Gongbei Port has been running far beyond its designed capacity, resulting in a series of problems such as prolonged queuing times and slow customs clearance procedures.

As a flagship project of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hengqin Port significantly simplified clearance procedures.

Guangdong’s foreign trade

Foreign trade in south China’s Guangdong province jumped by 10.9% year on year to 673.74 billion yuan (US$97.3 billion) in July, according to Guangdong customs. Exports rose 17% to 441.82 billion yuan last month from a year ago while imports edged up 0.8% to 231.92 billion yuan.

In July, Guangdong’s general trade achieved double-digit growth to reach 360.32 billion yuan, which accounted for 53.5% of Guangdong’s total foreign trade, up by 5.7 percentage points year on year. Guangdong’s total import and export volume to its major trading partners of ASEAN countries and the United States achieved double-digit growth.

Among the exports, textile products including face masks, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and materials for epidemic prevention increased by 2.4 times, 53.9% and 94.7%respectively. Guangdong’s imports of agricultural products increased by 20.1% in July, of which the imports of meat, grain, dairy and other key consumer goods for people’s livelihood increased significantly.

In the first seven months, total foreign trade in Guangdong fell 4.3% to 3.73 trillion yuan, narrowing a decline in the first half of the year by 2.8 percentage points.

Public-private partnership

China saw 400 new public-private partnership (PPP) projects registered in the first seven months of the year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Some 134 of the projects were related to urban infrastructure, data showed. Sectors including agriculture, forestry, water conservation, social development, transport and environmental protection also reported new PPP projects in the period. By far, a total of 7,277 PPP projects have been registered with a national monitoring platform.

PPPs act as collaborative investment models between government and private companies. Chinese authorities have been exploring funding infrastructure and public works through PPP models in recent years, aiming to reduce local government debts and provide new opportunities to private capital. 

Green bonds

China Construction Bank (CCB) celebrated the listing of two green bonds, which are worth $700 million and $500 million, respectively, on Nasdaq Dubai. The two bonds received pre-issuance certification as climate bonds from the Climate Bonds Initiative under the Climate Bonds Standard. They were listed on Nasdaq Dubai on August 5.

The issuances by the Hong Kong Branch of the CCB will support the bank’s efforts to combat climate change as the bank develops its commercial, corporate and consumer banking activities domestically and internationally, said the CCB.

The $700 million bond will mature in 2025 with a coupon of 1.25%, while the $500 million bond will mature in 2023 with a coupon of 1%, said Nasdaq Dubai.

Essa Kazim, the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre and chairman of the Dubai Financial Market, said “Dubai’s unique position as the region’s business and finance hub is a catalyst for rapidly developing economic links with China that promote mutual prosperity and development.”

Company news

The Alibaba Group on Tuesday opened its first business operation center in the city of Jinhua in east China’s Zhejiang Province.

The center functions as an offline service outlet of Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms, which will help accelerate the docking of factories and enterprises with the platforms, the company said. It will provide one-stop services, including online store applications, operational training and business docking for clients.

Alibaba said it plans to set up more business operation centers in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian and other provinces with advanced manufacturing industries.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. They were translated by Nadeem Xu.