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12 cities' per capita GDP below national average

2014-11-14 13:59 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Guangdong has most unbalanced economy

South China's Guangdong Province has the most unbalanced economy among five developed coastal provinces surveyed by the Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News, according to the survey results released on Thursday.

Among the surveyed regions that also included East China's Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, Guangdong has the most unbalanced economy with 12 of its 21 prefecture-level cities reporting per capita GDP in 2013 lower than the national average, the survey found.

Shenzhen, which had the highest per capita GDP in Guangdong in 2013, registered 7.38 times the figures reported by Meizhou, the poorest city as measured by per capita GDP.

Guangdong is a leading region for China's export-oriented economy with a large number of enterprises engaged in labor-intensive industries which are less capable of hedging against increases in labor costs.

According to data from the Statistics Bureau of Guangdong Province, in the first three quarters of the year, the province's economy grew 7.6 percent year-on-year, falling 0.9 percentage point compared to the same period last year.

The growth data for the first three quarters failed to reach the province's annual target of 8.5 percent.

The enterprises plagued with rising labor costs in Guangdong could pay more attention to transferring their operations to the less-developed areas in the province instead of investing in the western part of China or foreign countries with lower wages but that are also less familiar for the enterprises, Xu Yinzhou, former vice president at Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The unbalanced economy of Guangdong provides opportunities for export-oriented firms to transfer their operations to the less-developed regions in the province, Zhou Shaopeng, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

He noted meanwhile these regions should select investment projects without high pollution and high emissions.

The infrastructure in the less-developed regions of Guangdong is also improving, and economic growth in these regions has accelerated as well, which would contribute to the economic growth of the whole province, Xu said.

In the first three quarters, the eastern, western and northern parts of Guangdong, seen as less-developed compared to the province's Pearl River Delta region that also neighbors Hong Kong and Macao, posted a rise of 31.9 percent in fixed-assets investment, 17.5 percentage points higher than their developed counterpart, Nandu Daily reported in late October, citing local official statistics.

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