The size of this region is hard to comprehend. With nearly 70 million people and $1.5 trillion GDP, it is economically bigger than Australia or Mexico. Guangdong (the mainland China part) alone exported $670 billion in goods last year. Three of the world’s ten busiest container ports are in the region. It will be Silicon Valley on steroids.
For that matter, it could be the US on steroids, at least geographically. From Hong Kong you can fly to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo as fast as I can get from Dallas to San Francisco. This Greater Bay Area will be the center of the world’s fastest-growing region, with billions of smart business people, scientists, and consumers.
According to Wealth-X, Hong Kong just overtook New York as the world’s largest concentration of ultra-wealthy people (net worth of $30 million or more). Their study specifically attributes it to enhanced links with mainland China. Look for this to continue.
The real question is whether a peasant economy in tatters can flip to a command economy and then to a market economy. Well, that's not the real question because the answer is yes.
The real question is whether it can be done a billion people at a time.