The Greater Bay megacity cluster at Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta is exciting. The newly published regional Development Plan doesn’t change the fundamentals: it announces no significant reforms, opens no borders, offers no billions to cross-border business. But it signals new openings on the border of which both sides can take advantage.

The document is a strategy. I’ve read and studied it all, highlighting the most interesting elements. Let me share some of those here.

The plan’s most important statement is that the region is to be “driven by innovation and led by reform.” To start with, it outlines the strengths of various cities in the Greater Bay Area and aims to build on those. No surprise there. By highlighting the areas of competition and industries of strength and strategic importance for the different cities, the message encourages specialization.

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Tony Verb

Tony Á. Verb is a serial entrepreneur, urban innovator, venture capitalist and film producer from Hungary, based in Hong Kong. His most recent venture is The GreaterBay Company, an integrated investment...