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Guangzhou and Economic Trends

Guangzhou is the capital and the largest city of Guangdong province located in South Central China. The city lies on the northern edge of the Pearl River Delta, on the edge of the South China Sea and it is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. Guangzhou has 11 districts under its jurisdiction, with a total area of 7,434 km2, 136 sub-district offices and 34 towns. At the end of 2020, the resident population was 18 million.

As a well-known transportation and communication hub Guangzhou is the birthplace of ancient China’s “Maritime Silk Road”. The city’s port has a cargo handling capacity of 636 million tons and a throughput capacity of 23 million standard containers. Baiyun International Airport is mainland China’s busiest airport, serving 44 million passengers in 2020. Economic development has promoted the continuous improvement of Guangzhou as a junction center of the Beijing-Guangzhou, Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Guangzhou-Wuhan railways, and civil aviation transportation.

In 2020, Guangzhou’s GDP reached 2.5 trillion RMB with an increase of 2.7% compared to the previous year. In 2020, the per capita disposable income of urban permanent residents in the city has been 68,304 RMB, an increase of 5.0%.

In 2020, the city’s total foreign trade import and export value was 953 billion RMB, with the total value of exports of 543 billion RMB and the total value of imports of 410 billion RMB. The actual use of foreign capital in the whole year was 49,372 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 7.5%.

The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area advocates Guangzhou as a major driver of regional development. The city has strengthened its functions as an international trade and an integrated transportation hub, developing into a global metropolis.

Main Sectors in Guangzhou:

  • high tech industry

  • advanced manufacturing industries

  • information technology, smart equipment and robots

  • biomedicine

Main Industrial Areas in Guangzhou:

  • Guangzhou-Hong Kong Scientific and Technological Cooperation Park

  • Guangzhou Yunpu Industrial Park

  • Guangzhou Development District Xiqu Industrial Park

  • Guangzhou International Biotech Island

  • Huangpu Lingang Economic Development Zone

Nansha Area of Guangzhou in Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone

China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone was approved by the State Council on 2014. The zone covers 116 km² and three areas: Nansha Area of Guangzhou, Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen and Hengqin Area of Zhuhai.

Nansha Area in Guangzhou gives priority to maritime logistics, special finance, international trade, high-end manufacturing and other industries. The Area is one of the country’s three shipbuilding bases, a domestic auto manufacturing and export base, as well as a nuclear power equipment production base in the Pearl River Delta region.

Nansha has maintained a high-quality economic development with its gross regional domestic product achieving an annual growth of 10.4% year-on-year on average from 2014 to 2019. The annual average growth for fixed-asset investment has amounted to 13.3% during the same period, while the growth rate for total revenue was 13.2%. The foreign direct investment utilization grew by 13.2% on average on a yearly basis.


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