The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone (simplified Chinese: 珠江三角洲经济区; traditional Chinese: 珠江三角洲經濟區; pinyin: Zhūjiāng Sānjiǎozhōu Jīngjìqū) (once called 粤江平原), is a special economic zone on the southeastern coast of China. Located in the Pearl River Delta, it consists of the Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, and parts of Huizhou and Zhaoqing. Adjacent Hong Kong and Macau are not part of the economic zone.
It has been the most economically dynamic region of the Chinese Mainland since the launch of China's reform program in 1979. The 2008-20 plan, released by China's National Development and Reform Commission, is designed to boost the pan-Pearl River Delta as a "center of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries", and as a "center for international shipping, logistics, trade, conferences and exhibitions and tourism". Goals include the development of two to three new cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the development of 10 new multinational firms, and expansion of road, rail, seaport and airport capacities by 2020. They include construction of the 31-mile (50 km) Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta. The construction of 1,864 miles (3,000 km) of highways in the region was to be completed by 2012, and rail expansions of 683 miles (1,099 km) by 2012 and 1,367 miles (2,200 km) by 2020.
The zone is formed by 9 cities, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Dongguan, four districts and counties of Huizhou and four districts and counties of Zhaoqing.
The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone encompasses nearly 7,000 square kilometers, 0.07 percent of China, with a population of 220 million people, 30.1 percent of the 2010 population of mainland China. A 2015 report concluded that, if taken as a single urban area, the zone is the largest such area in the world in both area and population.