Guangdong sets pace for ‘dual circulation’

By Liu Zhihua

Known for SEZs, province plays role of bridge connecting nation, rest of world

Beijing, China, 2020-September-25  – South China’s Guangdong province has been formulating policy measures to promote the country’s new “dual circulation” development pattern, its top officials said in Beijing on Thursday.

The “dual circulation” pattern-it treats the domestic market as the mainstay while allowing domestic and foreign markets to boost each other-gives fresh impetus to the province’s efforts over the past 40 years, they said.

The last four decades saw Guangdong turbocharge China’s economy through continuous high-quality development without losing sight of socioeconomic progress. This was made possible by the establishment of China’s first special economic zone, or SEZ, in Shenzhen city, they said.

“We have been fully implementing the dual circulation development strategy announced by President Xi Jinping. It is a strategic decision in response to the country’s new phase of domestic development as well as changes in the external environment,” Ma Xingrui, governor of Guangdong, told the news media.

Guangdong’s new “dual circulation” policy arrangement will focus on three aspects:

First, the province will ensure the security of industrial supply chain to boost industrial development.

Second, it will perfect its logistics infrastructure to improve market development.

Third, it will develop clusters of cities to continue enhancing its socioeconomic development.

Ma said the province, especially its SEZs in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou, will play a more important role in the era of dual circulation development pattern.

Guangdong, he said, is a two-way “gateway” to the Chinese mainland as well as the rest of the world, especially the Belt and Road economies. Its three SEZs serve as regional economic centers.

“Dual circulation” underlines the need to give full play to the country’s hyper-sized domestic market, in order to inject new impetus into the Chinese economy through enhanced domestic circulation. But, it also requires unwavering opening-up to make better use of resources and domestic and overseas markets, Ma said.

“The province has a solid economic foundation, complete industrial chains, and a huge consumer market, given its 115 million people and 13 million market entities. It’s likely to prove a pioneer, in terms of implementing the ‘dual circulation’ development pattern,” he said.

Official data showed the province’s GDP rose 6.9 percent year-on-year to 10.77 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) last year, while the GDP of its three SEZs totaled 3.31 trillion yuan, accounting for nearly 31 percent of the provincial total.

In 1980, the GDP of the three SEZs was only 1.61 billion yuan, or 6.4 percent of the province’s GDP.

Ma said Guangdong will continue to promote the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Shenzhen demonstration pilot zone. It will also pursue higher-level opening-up and reforms, and foster strong development impetus through accelerated construction of SEZs.

The province will stay committed to innovation-driven development, and vigorously promote the optimization of industrial structure upgrading, he said.

Chen Rugui, mayor of Shenzhen, said the city is a hub of innovation, and one person in 10 is a founder of a startup.

He said the city will consolidate its market-oriented innovation system that centers on market entities and combines scientific research with industrial development.

New economy contributes to more than 60 percent of the city’s GDP, while strategic emerging industries account for about 40 percent of its GDP, Chen said.