Powerhouse Guangdong vows further economic reform

09:25, October 20, 2010      

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Authorities in Guangdong province have promised to further advance economic reform as the powerhouse of Pearl River Delta continues to modernize.

According to a top provincial official, the next four years will be crucial to Guangdong's economic development.

Wang Yang, Party secretary of Guangdong, said the local government will need to redouble efforts to continue reform and upgrade the province's industrial structure.

"The next four years are important in bringing to fruition of the plans for Pearl River Delta region's reform and development in the years of 2008 to 2020," Wang said.

Those plans for the delta - now part of the nation's overall development strategy - call for nine cities in the province to be transformed into advanced manufacturing and modern service centers.

Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Huizhou and Zhaoqing are all listed in the blueprint.

Wang said the provincial government will also give more decision-making power to local governments and avoid administrative interference in local communities and the market economy.

He hinted that more preferential policies will be introduced to develop the rural areas of the province where economic development lags far behind the river delta region.

Wang made the remarks during a telephone conference in Guangzhou last week.

Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong, and his deputies Zhu Xiaodan, Xiao Zhiheng, Li Ronggen and Liu Kun also attended the conference.

Huang said Guangdong is poised to establish a modern industrial system throughout the region.

He noted that the provincial government has developed policies to transform the province's industrial structure. They include support for so-called "mega-projects" and greater collaboration with large State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

"We are accordingly mapping out an extensive scheme to further revitalize and restructure local industries," Huang said.

The plan is designed to cover 11 key sectors - iron and steel, automobiles, shipping, petrochemicals, textiles, light industry, nonferrous metals, machines and equipment, electronic information, logistics and construction materials.

The first 10 sectors are also listed by the National Reform and Development Commission, China's top economic planning body. Together nine of the sectors contribute one-third to the nation's GDP.

"We will increase our efforts in attracting advanced manufacturing projects with low pollution and high added value, and we will also seek to develop fine chemicals and alternative energy vehicles in a bid to improve the area's overall comprehensiveness," Huang said.

In addition to maintaining cooperation with leading SOE manufacturers, private capital will be encouraged to invest in advanced manufacturing industries, he added.

Development path

Over the past three decades, Guangdong has played a pioneering role in China's opening up drive and reform policy.

The province has undergone a dramatic change, shifting from being frontier agricultural province to one of the nation's strongest regional economies, with an average annual GDP growth of 13.7 percent throughout the period.

To date, Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, has attracted more than $170 billion in foreign investment.

Nearly 100,000 overseas-backed projects have generated enormous revenues from their base in Guangdong.

Guangdong's GDP reached more than 2.73 trillion yuan in the first eight months this year, up 12.3 percent year-on-year.

In 2009, Guangdong's GDP came to more than 3.95 trillion yuan, up 9.7 percent from the previous year, and accounting for one-eighth of the country's total.

The province's per capita GDP hit 41,116 yuan last year, an increase of 8.6 percent.

Source:China Daily


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