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Guangdong geared for export upgrade
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09:41, December 10, 2008

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Facing severe challenges from the global economic slowdown, the province of Guangdong has modified its strategies for sustained development in its export-oriented economy.

"The financial tsunami and global economic downturn - together with the protectionism in developed countries and the intensifying competition from developing countries - are forcing the province to adjust," said Liang Yaowen, director of the provincial foreign trade and economic cooperation department of Guangdong.

Of prime importance to the province are stronger ties with Hong Kong and Macao to build a world-class economic zone through joint efforts with the two special administrative regions, said Liang.

"The focus of cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao will be advanced manufacturing as well as production-oriented service industries," he said.

"The effort is expected to turn the economic zone into one of the most magnetic and competitive regions in the world."

The province will increase efforts to boost the processing trade through improving policies and guide firms to the high-end of the industrial chain.

The province will also optimize the structure of export commodities by increasing those with independent intellectual property rights and their own brands.

He said Guangdong will also better use foreign capital and become more open for hi-tech industries and advanced manufacturing.

Other strategies include encouraging local businesses to invest abroad in resource development, engineering contracting and labor export to ASEAN countries. As well, firms should look to development of foreign trade and economic cooperation in less developed regions in the north, east and west of the province, while simplifying customs clearance procedures and improving port infrastructure.

Guangdong's imports and exports were worth $577.83 million in the January-October period, up 12.6 percent from a year ago, official statistics indicate.

The growth rate was much lower than the nation's 24.4 percent in the same period.

The province's utilized direct foreign investment was $5.63 billion in the first three quarters of this year, up 19.5 percent from the comparable period in 2007.

Guangdong inked contracts for 5,509 new projects in the first nine months using capital of $20.76 billion, falling by 21.1 percent and 12.3 percent respectively from the same period in 2007.

Source: China Daily

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