Beijingers’ GDP at $20,000 in 5 years

By Ling Yuhuan Source:Global Times Published: 2012-7-3 0:10:07

Beijing's per capita GDP is projected to reach $20,000 by 2017, a level equivalent to a moderately developed country, Liu Qi, Party secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC, said over the weekend.

According to Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, the city's GDP topped 1.6 trillion yuan ($252 billion) last year, and the per capita GDP stood at $12,447.

"It is possible for Beijing to reach $20,000 if the city increases the scale of investment and keeps its budget under control," Su Jingxiang, an economist with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times Monday.

Su said the city's GDP growth may also give impetus to the development of other cities, but added that per capita GDP is only a measure of economic growth, not an indicator of economic development.

"The increase in per capita GDP does not mean the disposable income of residents will reach that level," said Su.

"Instead of GDP, other indicators such as per capita net income, education level, health care and the gap between the rich and the poor can tell us more about a city."

The disposable income per capita of Beijing's urban residents in 2011 was 32,903 yuan, amounting to 40 percent of the per capita GDP.

The net income per capita of the city's rural residents was only 14,736 yuan, the China News Service reported.

"There is still a wide gap between Beijing and most other Chinese cities in terms of economic development," said Su. "It may take the country 30 or 40 years to reach the level of a moderately developed country."

The National Bureau of Statistics maintains that the disposable income per capita of Chinese urban residents in 2011 was 21,810 yuan, whereas the net income per capita of the rural residents was only 6,977 yuan.

According to a report by the Beijing Center for Human Resources Research last year, Beijing's per capita GDP accounted for one 17th of Tokyo's, one eighth of New York's and one seventh of London's.

"Although Beijing has approached an advanced level in its infrastructure construction, poor housing conditions and low efficiency of some government departments still need improvement," Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times Monday.

In its attempt to improve housing conditions, Beijing plans to redevelop 50 million square meters of old neighborhoods and build 1 million affordable housing units over the next five years.


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