HZMB begins upgrade as new economic, trade unit
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, or HZMB, will be developed as a new and dynamic economic and trade channel, as announced by officials during a news conference on June 28.
Around 500 representatives from Zhuhai, Macao, Hong Kong, as well as nearby cities in Guangdong Province, Shenyang, and Zunyi were present at the event.
It was announced that the operation of the HZMB has shortened the travel distance for Hong Kong motorists to Zhuhai and Macao to a mere 45 minutes, from the previous three-hour journey.
Nine projects in the areas of warehousing logistics, freight logistics, cold chain logistics, aviation industry, and intelligent manufacturing were signed during the news conference.
Project signing ceremony. [Photo by Zhong Fan / Zhuhai Daily]
One of the companies that signed the contracts, Chevalier AOC Freight Express, said that it would make full use of the third runway of the Hong Kong International Airport to provide distribution services for aviation spare parts in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Logistics Park, with the aim of cutting supplier costs.
Luo Jinbiao, general manager of Chevalier AOC Freight Express, noted that the enterprise was headquartered in Guangzhou's Nansha and the products for export were designated for shipment to Hong Kong for transit. With the HZMB, the products can reach Hong Kong International Airport by road transportation, saving two to three days, he added.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Logistics Park is now negotiating with 21 major projects, covering such areas as aviation spare parts, medicines, and cold-chain logistics. These are expected to generate an increase of over 60 billion yuan ($8 billion) in foreign trade per annum once they ramp up to capacity.
Elsewhere, the Gaolan Port Comprehensive Free Trade Zone has now attracted 16 projects with total investment of 4.5 billion yuan ($620.9 million). Upon operation, the projects will achieve an annual output value of 4.9 billion yuan ($676.1 million) and an annual import and export volume of 12.8 billion yuan.
Hu Cheng, assistant general manager of Nam Kwong Logistics (Macao), said the aim was for Zhuhai to attract more investment and optimize its support facilities for the logistics industry. This would bring in high-end manufacturing enterprises on the east bank of the Pearl River Estuary with a reinvigorated economic and trade passage, Hu added.
Beneficial measures - including the 24-hour operation of HZMB customs, rapid customs clearance, and specialized personnel recruitments - are reported to have significantly saved time and logistics costs. These have enhanced the competitiveness of logistics and manufacturing enterprises in the area, said Zhang Jie, general manager of Guangfeng Logistics.
Guang added that the launch of the new economic and trade channel would further enrich logistics options, expand the range of goods, bring broader development prospects to the logistics industry, and accelerate the pace of enterprise layouts for cross-border e-commerce and cross-border logistics.
As of end-May, the import and export volume handled at the HZMB Zhuhai Port had reached 639 billion yuan ($88 billion), covering 31 domestic provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities as well as 235 countries and regions.
Hu Jinfeng from SF Express noted that the new passage would facilitate the transportation of cargo such as fruit, vegetables, and sea products in west Guangdong to Hong Kong within four hours, offering fresher products with better quality.
The new Macao cross-boundary cargo transfer station of the HZMB was delivered to relevant departments for extended operations on June 27.
Hong Kong trucks no longer need to go through customs clearance in Macao, as they can deliver cargo to Macao trucks at the station and then return. The station will be open 24/7, serving around 400 Hong Kong trucks daily.