China's leading province wants to partner with Caribbean

Senior associate editor

Friday, October 13, 2017

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GUANGDONG, China — Officials of China's leading and fastest-growing province — Guangdong — yesterday invited countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to join forces in a partnership as it continues to grow.

The call was made by deputy director general for the province's department of commerce, Wang Tao, during a briefing with journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean, who are part of hundreds of media personnel here for the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China, which opens next week in the capital, Beijing.

Wang and his colleagues — Huang Huadog, chief economist for the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, and Luo Jun, deputy director general of the foreign affairs office — all painted a rosy picture of growth and expansion and were even unable to identify any challenge when questioned by journalists about possible threats to the economy.

Speaking at the briefing at the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Club, Wang said Guangdong's provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has ranked first among all Chinese provinces for 28 straight years from 1989 to 2016. The annual fiscal revenue, he said, accounts for one-seventh of the national total.

“In 2016 the GDP of Guangdong Province reached 7,951.21 billion yuan, and the per capita GDP of the Guangdong Province reached US$10,958,” said Wang, noting that Guangdong has reached the level of some upper-middle income countries in the world.

Once a sleepy fishing village before China opened its economy to the world, Guangdong has led all other provinces in providing the greatest support to the growing Chinese economy, alleviating poverty for many of its residents, greatly improving its infrastructure and transport network to include a reliable bus and rail service and boasts one of the largest and busiest airports outside of the capital Beijing.

The province, said Luo, has also invested heavily in education, and has seen a vast increase of its residents who have acquired university education.

Home to 110 million people, the province is home to the growing Huawei technology group, as well as several light and heavy manufacturing plants.

Despite its successes, however, Guangdong continues to invest heavily in research and development (R&D). According to Luo, R&D spending in the province accounted for about 2.53 per cent of GDP.

Information provided by the province said that 2016 figures showed that there were 19,857 high and new technology enterprises in the province with an output value of high-tech products of 5.9 trillion yuan. The information provided showed that the most dynamic platform was provided for innovation promotion and transformational development through its free trade zones in the Nansha area of the capital, Guanzhou; and the Qianhai and Shekou area of Shenzhen and Hengqin area of Zhuhai.

Guangdong's strategic location in south China and adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao also makes it a prime area for commercial activities.

The province is home to consulates of 57 countries.




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