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Guangdong plans to build on three decades of glory
Latest Updated at 2008-November-5 09:14:08

South China's Guangdong province has achieved remarkable success in economic development since the country implemented the reform and opening-up policies in the late 1970s.

Over the past three decades, Guangdong's economy has grown 42-fold while its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has grown 29 times, according to the province's official statistics.

The province's GDP rose to 3.06 trillion yuan in 2007.

At the same time Guangdong's foreign trade volume soared by more than 600 times and bank balance of local residents' savings rose by 1,310 times comparing with the figures recorded 30 years ago.

The province's economic output surpassed Singapore and China's Taiwan province and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the end of last year.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, along with the Republic of Korea, were once known as "Asia's Four Little Dragons" due to their historically rapid economic growth. Taiwan's GDP reached $323.4 billion last year

Guangdong, which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, was the country's pilot region of reform and opening up.

It has now become one of China's economic powerhouses, with GDP accounting for more than 10 per cent of the country's total in recent years.

Income of local residents can now compete with those in the world's medium income nations and regions. Last year, Guandong's per capita net income for rural residents was 5,450 yuan, up year-on-year more than 11 per cent.

In addition to the geographic advantage of closeness to Hong Kong and Macao, Guangdong - which lacks natural resources and energy - has benefited from its reliance on the country's reform and opening up policies.

The province purchases more than 90 percent of its coal, crude oil and other energy from other parts of the country and the rest of the world to support its economic development, according to Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua.

"Guangdong would not have achieved its remarkable economic result without China's reform and opening policies," Huang told a recent provincial work conference.

Guangdong was the pioneer on the mainland in use of foreign investment and a leader in foreign trade for three decades. The province's annual foreign investment and foreign trade volume both represent about 30 percent of the country's total in the past 30 years.

Affected by the current worldwide financial crisis, Guangdong's GDP growth is expected to end up at about 9 percent this year, Huang said. Its annual GDP growth rate was more than 13 percent from 2001 to last year.

Despite the achievements, Huang said Guangdong will continue to expand investment in infrastructure, improve its investment environment, promote innovation and optimize its industrial structure.

The provincial government will also meet its promises to further improve residents' livelihoods in the coming years.

Guangdong has been highlighting hi-tech industries, encouraging independent innovation and speeding up industrial development. The province has also placed controls on heavy energy-consuming industries and encouraged existing enterprises to retrofit equipment with energy-saving equipment.

Huang's government will give top priorities to easing price pressures and lowering the registered unemployment rate in urban areas.

Editor: Yan

By: Zheng Caixiong Source: China Daily Website
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