WFZC Monthly Zones Activity Report
STORY OF THE WEEK
Qianhai: a greener financial center underway
The Qianhai special economic zone in Shenzhen has not yet been built, but is already “earmarked to become an international financial center,” according to a South China Morning Post article published yesterday. It is also hailed as the Manhattan of southern China and a possible “competitor” to Hengqin.
Earlier this month, the director of the administrative committee of the Hengqin New Area in Zhuhai, Niu Jing, stated that the Island does not fear further competition from neighboring special economic zones, such as Qianhai. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, he stated: “There is competition, but we are not worried. Good competition can drive all of us to do a better job. Hengqin has advantages, as we are seven times the size of Qianhai, and we have more land to develop.
While Qianhai focuses on financial services, Hengqin has a wider scope: ranging from tourism, financial services, culture, health care to Chinese medicine.”
Qianhai is aiming high, with its landscape master plan the responsibility of Hong Kong architect Patrick Lau Hing-Tat. In order to become an international financial center, experts in the areas of finance, urban planning and legal issues were called upon to provide their input.
The idea is also to build a special economic zone, which can offer a better quality of life than Hong Kong. In this context, the architect is thinking of implementing rivers, and a more pedestrian friendly environment.
“It means instead of putting pedestrians close to vehicle emissions, they will be walking by the riverside, under the shade of trees,” he told the South China Morning Post.
Sitting on 15 square kilometers of reclaimed land, Qianhai has three commercial districts, which will be separated by three artificial rivers. In addition, around 20 parks will be distributed throughout the financial center. According to the South China Morning Post, the landscape plan is due to be finalized next month.