Understanding China’s 3 Major Economic Hubs

The Pearl River Delta (PRD)

Consisting of the area surrounding the Pearl River in Guangdong Province, the Pearl River Delta remains China’s wealthiest region and the centre of its export-orientated economy. Guangdong’s GDP in 2010 hit RMB 4.55 trillion, exceeding the target of 3.35 trillion Yuan, making it the first among all provinces in China. The province has set a target of 9 percent growth rate for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2005-2010).

Last year, Guangdong’s foreign trade growth rate was lower than the national average. Last year, the nation registered a 34.7 percent growth in foreign trade while Guangdong’s import and export value grew by just 28.4 percent. Analysts believe that the growth rate of Guangdong’s foreign trade in January this year, which was higher than the national average, which many analysts believe was due to the law starting point at the end of last year.

Export commodities, machinery and electronic products and hi-tech exports were higher than the corresponding increase in total exports, with main labor-intensive products achieving a growth rate upwards of 30 percent.

The Yangtze River Delta (YRD)

YRD economic zone refers to 16 cities in Shanghai, southern Jiangsu, eastern and northern Zhejiang; Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Nantong, Taizhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Huzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Zhoushan and Taizhou.

The Yangtze River Delta (YRD13 of the 16 major cities in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) witnessed GDP exceeding RMB 200bn in 2010; 6 cities in the YRD exceed RMB 500bn in 2010.

The top five were Shanghai with its GDP at RMB 1.6872.42 trillion; Suzhou with RMB 916.891bn, Hangzhou with RMB 594.582bn, Wuxi with RMB 575.8bn, and Ningbo with RMB 512.582bn with economic performance greatly aided by the emergence of recovery within the global economy.

The region’s industrial production continued to accelerate and its above-scale industrial output value was RMB 14.7392 trillion in 2010, an increase of 26 percent year on year.

Beijing and the Bohai Bay region

Comprising Hebei, Shandong, and Liaoning Provinces as well as the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin, the Bohai Bay region is the primary economic hub for north China with Tianjin Port functioning as the primary economic fulcrum. Gross domestic product in the area exceeded RMB 10 trillion in 2010, representing growth rate exceeding 12 percent. Tianjin Municipality grew fastest at 17 percent, while Beijing grew slowest at 10.2 percent. Of the provinces mentioned above, Shandong contributed by far the greatest share of Bohai Economic Rim GDP.