January 09, 2009

Pearl River Delta 2020

In contrast to Obama's banal American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, Beijing's powerful National Reform and Development Commission revealed this week its 2008-2020 national plan on the development of the Pearl River Delta region (the triangle region punctuated by Guangzhou (Canton), Hong Kong, and Macau). The aim is for complete economic integration of the area by 2020.
The Pearl River Delta has roughly as many people as and an economy equal in size to a big West European country and some of the highest income levels in China. The goal is increase per capital income to 1st world standards within 12 years and urbanization to 80% or more. The region will be connected by mass transit systems already under construction or planned including the new Hong Kong-Macu-Zhuhai bridge discussed earlier on the Sinomania! blog.

The development plan is to turn the region from light manufacturing of toys, electronics, and textiles, to an 'innovation hub' focused on automobiles, petrochemicals, high tech, and services. Some clues as to where investment will be centered: the plan calls for the creation of 2-3 big auto makers in the region, the creation of 10 Chinese global multinational brands, and equipment manufacturing around nuclear power, ocean equipment, wind power, power plants, high-tech machine tools, along with financial, retail, and personnel services.

The programs will be accomplished under the aegis of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) first enacted in 2003.

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