Right, well, first I have to say I feel extremely at home here although I've never been to Macao. I'll explain why.
I was appointed to be head of London's Economic Policy for eight years from 2000 to 2008. One of the key products of that is something called the London Plan，which was the strategic plan for the development of London.
So therefore, this question of what the economy is and what its relationship to the development of very large economic areas is something that I've extremely familiar with.
It might sound peculiar, but in the economy, it is easier to predict what will happen in the next five years than it is to predict what will happen in the next six months.
The reason for that is the short-term trends in the economy can be affected by all sorts of things. I mean, in the most extreme cases, sometimes by the weather and all sorts of inter-conjunctions.
Whereas once you begin to take five-year or ten-year period, and that's what's important for the development of a strategic area.
It's determined by the most fundamental factors that affect the economy.
So I'm not going to discuss very much about what purely temporary developments are in the Greater Bay Area , as some of them are attracting some international attention at the present time.
OK, the fundamental thing, therefore, I want to do is, I want to step back from the short-term developments and look what are the strategic developments of the Greater Bay Area.
If you want to look at the development of an area, you have to understand what is unique about it because every major economic area in the world is unique.
What I think is the key feature of the Greater Bay Area.
For me the most decisive thing - it is one of the two great technological centers of the world.The other one is exactly across the Pacific Ocean, in California.
There are no other centers of the development of high technology in the whole world which match either California or the Greater Bay Area.
This is what defines, as my view, all the other features.The most obvious one is the question of its high technological development.
It is symbolized, for example, by Huawei, which is now the world's most advanced technological telecommunications company.
Or Tencent, for example. I have to use WhatsApp when I’m in the West and I have to use WeChat in China and now I know that WeChat is 50% better than WhatsApp in the West.
It was put very, very well by the head of Huawei, he said the United States accuses Huawei of stealing from it. This is ridiculous. We have things that the United States doesn't have.
But if you take this region, it's an interconnected fashion. It's also got leads in international financial centers, particularly in Hong Kong.
In Macao, it's got one of the most important leisure centers in the whole world.
And it is not an accident that these are connected. That's in addition to all the normal manufacturing and retail and things you would’ve expected.
Why? Because once you have a huge high technology center, this is going to determine many, many features about the entire region.
I was very interested to hear about the developments of Macao, for example, in the field of art because that's what it's going to have.
The whole region will have adjustments to an extremely high cultural level of an extremely skilled workforce.
And therefore, it's not a big center like that: you're just gonna have technological laboratories and then everybody's going to go home and spend the evening watching the TV. They are not gonna do that.
Another is the question of the infrastructure. OK, of course everybody knows about the bridge. But I know that sometimes it's a foolish idea in China that China has enough infrastructure.
I think this is a joke.
As the region becomes more developed, of course the needs for a different type of infrastructure will change. You're gonna have huge infrastructure. This is going to be needed.
It's going to be, for example, the development of information and communications technology.
Because if you have the development of international ICT centers, which is what's going to happen here, if you have the development of an international financial center further in Hong Kong, this is going to have tremendous ICT with infrastructure requirements and not just transport ones.
Another question though that's going to be on the relation to what I will call visitourism.
If you have a huge international complex of ICT, which is international and financial, which is Hong Kong, basically the same infrastructure which is required for the business part can be used for tourists.
Roughly in London, which is one of the most internationally visited cities in the world, two-thirds of the people who come to the city come for a visit for tourism and one third come for business but they're using the same hotels，the same airports, the same overlap in infrastructure.
That is why I would use the term visitorism.
Let's then look at these fundamentals-what are the more specific things. That is the key of the question of the Greater Bay Area.
Firstly, it's important to realize just how big it is. If you take the GDP of the Greater Bay Area, if it were a separate country, there are only 12 countries in the world which would have a higher GDP than the Greater Bay Area.
But even that doesn't capture what is the real dynamic of the Greater Bay Area.
If you take the latest GDP statistics of the United States, its growth rate is 2.1%. China's growth rate is 6%.
This means that China's economy is growing three times as fast as the United States.
So therefore, not only is the Greater Bay Area already very, very large, but it is growing much faster than that of the United States.
And that's what gives it its particular dynamic.
One is the most obvious: I feel so old-fashioned in China. I actually use cash and, this makes me, look about 120 years old.
And occasionally I have to track and make go into a bank to make transactions with London and the person who came and interpreted said, look at this bank, the only people in this bank are old people and foreigners.
So that's it.
Can I make an appeal? I wish that the new changes made by WeChat and Alipay would make it a little bit easier for foreigners to open up accounts. Then I won't have to stay quite so old-fashioned as I am at the present time.
OK. I already mentioned that if you take WeChat, it's just much better, it's much skilled.
That's not just me in my opinion because I have friends who come to China and they change and they take up WeChat accounts.
They say it's just better than using WhatsApp.
OK. As for the high-speed train system, this is just so much more advanced of anything in Europe and the United States.
I mean, it's even ridiculous, the United States advertises its high-speed train or something that goes more than about 140 km/h whereas the Chinese ones are going twice as fast.
What I want to say about that is you already see in the Greater Bay Area or a situation whereby the technological level of the Greater Bay Area in some areas is already ahead of California.
The people who have kept creating the problem in Hong Kong have no chance of success.
They don't really even dare to say their real aims，which are separatist aims and they have no chance of carrying out this whatever.
Meanwhile the economic fundamentals of Hong Kong are not going to change.
Hong Kong can't be towed away from China and parked somewhere else in the Pacific.
The key of Hong Kong and the key of this region is that it's linked to mainland China.
Just to give you another comparison. This is an analogy often used of Asia.
It's called the “flying geese” development. It shows the most technologically advanced country pulls the other forward.
The Greater Bay Area in China is the lead geese in the development of these geese.
Finally, therefore, just to summarize what I said.
You're here in the middle of one of the two most important high technology development centers in the world. Nowhere except here and California is as advanced as that.
This stimulates the integrated development of the entire GBA because it needs finance, needs recreation, it needs infrastructure, it needs everything else in the region.
So again, I'm saying that the GBA is one of the most important regions in the entire world, not to be polite.
I hope what I've tried to show you is this because it's the truth.
Thank you very much.