An aerial view of downtown Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on July 18, 2020. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Provincial powerhouse builds on prowess in manufacturing, science, technology
The largest provincial-level economy of the country, Guangdong province has made big steps in high-quality development in the past 10 years, the provincial governor said.
Guangdong’s gross domestic product surged by about 7 trillion yuan ($1.01 trillion) in 10 years to 12.4 trillion yuan last year, said Governor Wang Weizhong at a news conference in Guangzhou on Wednesday.
The cities of Foshan and Dongguan have joined Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the province to become trillion-yuan economies. Shenzhen ranked fourth among Asian cities in terms of economic size last year.
“In the last 10 years, we have consistently built up our strength in manufacturing and scientific and technological innovation. We have realized historic elevation in economic competitiveness,” Wang said. “We have pushed forward major reforms in fields including digital government and business environment.”
The province now has seven industrial clusters with an annual output of more than 1 trillion yuan each, including those in new-generation electronic information, green petrochemicals and smart home appliances.
Constant progress has been made in building both the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area international innovation center and comprehensive national scientific center. The area consists of nine cities in Guangdong as well as the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.
Major scientific and technological infrastructure projects have been implemented in cities including Dongguan, Huizhou and Shenzhen.
Twenty labs are jointly operated by researchers from Guangdong and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, with more than 10,000 large scientific apparatuses in the province open to use by Hong Kong and Macao scientists.
Guangdong authorities have allocated more than 300 million yuan in funds for scientific research in Hong Kong and Macao.
Research and development spending across the province stood at 380 billion yuan last year, three times the amount 10 years ago and accounting for 3.14 percent of the provincial GDP.
Guangdong has ranked first in terms of comprehensive innovation capacity in the country for five consecutive years.
Aiming at more balanced development, authorities have supported the orderly transfer of industrial projects to less developed northern, eastern and western regions of the province, Wang said.
Major projects have also been positioned in those regions, including the 10-billion-euro ($9.98 billion) Verbund site project by German chemical group BASF in Zhanjiang in western Guangdong.
With efforts to advance low-carbon development, energy intensity in Guangdong came in at 64 percent of the national average last year, with its energy consumption per unit of GDP ranking third lowest in the country, said Zhang Hu, executive vice-governor.
Guangdong has channeled 750 billion yuan into environmental protection facilities and pollution treatment in the past five years, he said.