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Business Watch | ShenZhong Link's opening enhances GBA connectivity and economic growth

The ShenZhong Link recently opened to traffic. Serving as a vital cross-sea passage between Shenzhen and Zhongshan, it marks a new milestone in the transportation network of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The Link injects fresh vitality into regional high-quality economic development and profoundly impacts foreign investment, production, and market layout within the region.

The ShenZhong Link marks a significant road improvement in connecting not only the GBA cities, but the entirety of South China, bringing accessibility, convenience, and speed to both travelers and businesses. (Photo: Nanfang Daily)

Highlights of GBA's new mega project

As a core project of the GBA, the ShenZhong Link spans approximately 24 kilometers, resembling a colossal dragon across the Lingdingyang. It is located about 30 kilometers south of the Humen Bridge and 31 kilometers north of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), establishing more convenient connections between the east and west banks of the Pearl River Estuary.

The Link consists of one underwater tunnel, two bridges, and two artificial islands, making it one of the most challenging cross-sea cluster projects in the world. It features eight lanes in each direction, and has been designed for a speed of 100 kilometers per hour, with a lifespan of up to 100 years.

Compared to the HZMB, the Link not only adds two additional lanes but also achieves a new leap in its construction.

After seven years of meticulous planning, rigorous design, and arduous construction, the Link has set ten world records, including the world's first dual eight-lane underwater tunnel and the world's largest span steel box girder cable-stayed bridge.

Travel time between Shenzhen and Zhongshan has been reduced from 2 hours to just 30 minutes via the Link, accelerating the flow of people, goods, capital, and information between the east and west banks of the Pearl River Estuary.

ShenZhong Link saw over 125,000 vehicles in the first 24 hours. (Photo: Nanfang Daily)

Significant reduction in logistics costs

The ShenZhong Link is not only a physical passage connecting the two cities, but also a strategic passage to promote the high-quality development of the GBA.

According to Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the special geographic shape of bay areas, with lands divided by waters, is beautiful but often restricts easy communication between the two sides of the area. The ShenZhong Link is precisely an important infrastructure to overcome this obstacle. It not only shortens travel time but also promotes the upstream-downstream connection of the industrial chain.

"ShenZhong Link makes door-to-door transportation between the east and west sides of the Pearl River Estuary possible," said Bai Ming. "This efficient logistics model not only reduces costs but also significantly improves transportation efficiency, enabling companies to deliver their products to the market faster, thereby enhancing market competitiveness."

Bai mentioned that convenient logistics was just one part of it. The Link will also promote exchanges and cooperation in many fields, including R&D and human resources, creating new endogenous momentum into the overall development of the GBA.

Meanwhile, along with the opening of the Link, foreign enterprises also see new development opportunities.

Paul Jolley, CEO of Cooka (Zhongshan) Technology Co., Ltd., said that the opening of the ShenZhong Link will greatly enhance the efficiency of the company's supply chain, provide more convenient access for the company to supply to the downstream, and also create favorable conditions for the company to expand the international market.

Xi Haifeng, Vice General Manager of CASIO Electronic Technology (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd, sees the ShenZhong Link's role in promoting the international market. "Our products are internationally oriented, and the opening of the ShenZhong Link will greatly facilitate the expansion of our sales network to the world."

A new chapter in regional cooperation ready to unfold

According to Harley Seyedin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, "We (American investors and entrepreneurs) think that the ShenZhong Link is not just going to benefit us, but also every company that's active in South China. It shortens the time and space distance, and closely combines the market advantages of Shenzhen with the manufacturing strengths of Zhongshan."

Klaus Zenkel, Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China and Chair of the South China Chapter, observed that the ShenZhong Link arrived in Jiuwei, Bao'an District, bringing new impetus to industrial upgrading and economic development in the region.

At the same time, as the General Manager of IMEDCO (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., Klaus said that their factory was basically very near to Jiuwei. The opening of the ShenZhong Link will bring possibilities for their company to expand its business, and cooperation with the west side of the Pearl River will be more convenient. He sees the Link as a catalyst for regional economic integration and industrial upgrading, and looks forward to further expanding markets and strengthening cooperation with neighboring regions.

As an important cross-sea passage connecting Shenzhen and Zhongshan, the Link has its southern extension closely connected to Nansha District of Guangzhou through the Wanqingsha branch line of the Nansha-Zhongshan Expressway.

Qiu Junwen, General Manager of Meiko Electronics (Guangzhou Nansha) Co., Ltd., said that the opening of the Link significantly improved the company's control of logistics costs, transportation cycle, and customer service. He believes that the location advantage of Nansha will be further highlighted so that their company can benefit from business expansion and more convenient logistics.

Bai Ming emphasized that the opening of the ShenZhong Link would bring a series of progressive changes, and the opportunities it brings would gradually emerge over time. He called on enterprises to actively utilize this opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation and achieve win-win development. He also stressed that relevant departments should strengthen the management and maintenance of the Link, so as to ensure its long-term stable operation and provide a solid guarantee for regional economic development.

Author | Hannah, Eastbrook, Guo Chuhua, Chen Yuting (intern)

Editor | Nan, Will, James

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