Guangdong’s GDP largest among Chinese provinces, growing 2.3% in 2020
Published: Jan 24, 2021 10:08 AM

Aerial photo taken on Sept. 14, 2020 shows the view of downtown areas in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. Known as a paragon of opening-up and development, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province is one of China's earliest special economic zones. Starting from a small town, it has developed into a key economic hub in the past 40 years. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

South China’s Guangdong Province, a major manufacturing hub in China, achieved GDP growth of 2.3 percent year-on-year against the headwinds on the export-oriented economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the province’s governor said. 

The province’s GDP surpassed the 11 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) mark in 2020 for the first time, a jump from 7.5 trillion yuan in 2015, ranking it No.1 for 32 consecutive years among all Chinese provinces in terms of economic output, Guangdong’s Governor Ma Xingrui said during the government work report delivered on Sunday.

The added value of the primary industry was 476.99 billion yuan, recording a year-on-year increase of 3.8 percent; the secondary industry up 1.8 percent and the tertiary industry up 2.5 percent, data from the local statistics bureau showed.

Guangdong’s 2020 GDP was equivalent to that of South Korea, the largest of the so-called “Four Asian Tigers” economies, encompassing South Korea, Singapore, China’s Hong Kong and Taiwan. They underwent rapid industrialization and maintained high economic growth rates between early 1960s and the 1990s.

South Korea’s GDP is expected to fall 1.8 percent to $1.54 trillion in 2020, ranking to rise to 9th in the world, according to a forecast by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Based on the projection, Guangdong’s GDP will exceed that of South Korea, ranking to the world’s top ten.

Despite the economic fallouts caused by the coronavirus last year, Guangdong has implemented thorough measures to get the virus under control and has taken early steps to resume its supply chain to guarantee manufacturing and exports to overseas markets. 

The province’s economic recovery has accelerated pace since the second half of 2020, achieving positive growth of 0.7 percent in the first three quarters, after a negative 6.7 percent in the first quarter and negative 2.7 percent in the first half.

With a better outlook, Guangdong sets its GDP growth rate for 2021 to reach more than 6 percent. 

Guangdong’s foreign trade import and export recorded 7.08 trillion yuan last year, also ranking first in the country, accounting for 22 percent of China’s total trade. Exports increased by 0.2 percent, which has maintained growth for 4 consecutive years, local customs data showed.

Starting on Saturday, the Two Sessions of Guangdong Province opened in succession. Important policies related to Guangdong’s development will be discussed and approved at the meetings.

In the government work report, Ma said the province will vigorously develop the digital economy and promote the development of artificial intelligence, the semiconductor industry and seed technology.

Guangdong will conduct a seed project by establishing local agricultural technology lab and building up seed resources and inventory, the provincial governor says. China has been attaching more importance to growing the seed industry to ensure food security.

The construction of an international science and technology innovation center in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will be speeded up, Ma said.

Benchmarking the world’s major science centers and innovation highlands, Guangdong will create an important source of global scientific and technological innovation and promote the construction of a comprehensive national science center in the Greater Bay Area.

Global Times