Chart of the Week January 14, 2022: FDI in the GBA Ecosystem: Core vs Node Cities


To propel the economic development of the Greater Bay Area, China’s State Development and Reform Commission signed the “Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Greater Bay Area” in 2017. The involvement of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau governments in this agreement marks the beginning of integrated development in the region. There are 11 cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), out of which Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hongkong and Macau are the core cities, while the other seven are node cities.

This week’s Chart of the Week shows the number of greenfield FDI projects to the nine cities in Guangdong Province and the jobs created by these projects from 2014 to 2020.

Greenfield FDI refers to the investment in a foreign firm building its facilities from ground up. It is different from brownfield FDI, which involves mergers and acquisitions.


  • The core cities in Guangdong province, i.e. Guangzhou and Shenzhen, benefited the most from the announcement of the Framework Agreement. Both number of FDI projects and jobs created by these projects have risen after 2017.
  • The impact of GBA announcements on node cities is diverse. Foshan and Zhuhai demonstrate an apparent increase in both measures, while the impact on the other cities is insignificant. As neighbours of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Foshan and Zhuhai have gained positive spillover from the two core cities.

Article By Xuyao Zhang

Graphic By Yixuan GE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s