RICS sets up a task force on ‘Greater Bay Area Urban Development’ to advise on its future development

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 26 September 2017 - The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has made recommendations for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area's (GBA) development. RICS considers that as the China's economic growth continues to gain momentum in the next decades, GBA, as one of China's three main economic regions, is set to play a crucial role in driving China's economic development.


RICS urges the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to cooperate closely to transform GBA into an international megalopolis. Hong Kong needs to strengthen its role as a "super connector" and further integrate its economy with GBA. This will position Hong Kong to effectively leverage on synergies created with the other nine cities and Macau, and support the formation of a highly internationalised and globally competitive megalopolis.


"To transform the GBA into a megalopolis, RICS urges the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to closely cooperate to achieve economic integration, and work to minimise the hurdles," said Mr Clement Lau FRICS, Chair of RICS Hong Kong Board. "Furthermore, RICS advocates for further adoption of international standards for building, measurement, urban planning and arbitration, as well as mutual recognition of professional qualifications in the region. RICS also recommends adopting internationally-recognised standards such as 'International Valuation Standards', 'International Property Measurement Standards', 'International Construction Measurement Standards', 'International Land Measurement Standards', and so forth to enhance GBA's regional competitiveness and match with other international metropolises, like New York, London and Tokyo."


RICS' views and recommendations are summarised as follows:


1. To transform the GBA into an internationalised megalopolis, the Governments' primary concern should be to improve cooperative processes, eliminate hurdles to development, and facilitate better overall interconnectivity. Suggestions are offered in the seven areas below for consideration:


             I. Governmental structure: RICS recommends that the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao jointly set up a GBA Development Committee to plan, adjust, and implement the entire development process.


            II. Customs duties: RICS recommends reducing trade barriers to imports and exports in the GBA.


           III. Cross-border trade: RICS recommends establishing a common digital payment platform across the GBA to reduce intra-regional transaction costs, and to also consider consolidating and expanding the region's pilot free trade zone.


           IV. Talent and taxation: RICS recommends adopting a preferential tax system and to consider issuing a permit akin to the "APEC Business Travel Card" in the region to attract more talent. To cultivate a new generation of globally competitive employees and facilitate regional integration, RICS suggests covering financial systems on national, regional, and city-based levels in tertiary education curriculum.


            V. Infrastructure and logistics: RICS recommends reducing inefficiencies in cross-border land, sea and air transport in the GBA. RICS also suggests optimising cross-border vehicle control systems through actions such as issuing general license plates for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.


          VI. Professional standards: RICS recommends introducing international professional standards into the GBA building process, effectively transforming it into a "pilot region" for implementing more international professional standards into China.


        VII. Corporate governance: RICS recommends strengthening corporate governance and regulation of intellectual property to be more closely in line with international requirements.


2. Developing Hong Kong as part of the GBA should be aligned with the HKSAR Government's "Hong Kong 2030+" strategic plan. Hong Kong can address current challenges around land resources, urban planning and elderly care facilities by effective use of neighbouring city resources. By leveraging on the unique advantage of "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong is also positioned to strengthen its role as a "super connector" and continue improving its status as a global financial hub, logistics centre and tourist destination.


3. Opportunities for Hong Kong's built environment and surveying industries in the development of GBA:


           I. The HKSAR Government can consult with the governments of Guangdong and Macao regarding the adoption of international standards for building, measurement, urban planning and arbitration, and mutual recognition of professional qualifications.


         II. To facilitate GBA's competitiveness on the world stage, professional standards and regulation should be introduced into the region. These include but are not limited to "International Valuation Standards", "International Property Measurement Standards", "International Building Survey Standards", "International Land Measurement Standards", etc.


        III. Reduce regional restrictions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) entering the market in terms of scale, registered capital, domestic experience and capitalisation requirements. This could attract more of Hong Kong consultancy firms on architects, surveyors, planners and landscape architects to set up business in the GBA.


RICS is a global professional body working across land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. We have a public interest mandate to engage government and industry leaders on this report. Working across 148 countries, RICS professionals harness their expertise for the benefits of people and communities.


For our detailed recommendations, please download from below links:

The press conference PowerPoint


The submission paper:



About RICS

Confidence through professional standards


RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards -- bringing confidence to the markets we serve.


We accredit 125,000 professionals and any individual or firm registered with RICS is subject to our quality assurance. Their expertise covers property, asset valuation, real estate management; the development of infrastructure; and the management of natural resources, such as mining, farms and woodland. From environmental assessments and building controls to negotiating land rights in an emerging economy; if our members are involved the same professional standards and ethics apply.


We believe that standards underpin effective markets. With up to seventy per cent of the world's wealth bound up in land and real estate, our sector is vital to economic development, helping to support stable, sustainable investment and growth around the globe.


With offices covering the major political and financial centres of the world, our market presence means we are ideally placed to influence policy and embed professional standards. We work at a cross-governmental level, delivering international standards that will support a safe and vibrant marketplace in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, for the benefit of all.


We are proud of our reputation and work hard to protect it, so clients who work with an RICS professional can have confidence in the quality and ethics of the services they receive.

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