Guangdong watches GDP flourish in first half of year |
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Guangdong watches GDP flourish in first half of year

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou China Daily Updated: 2023-07-21
Dongguan in South China's Guangdong province is a busy port on the Pearl River. [Photo provided to China Daily]

South China's Guangdong province, an economic powerhouse, saw its economy rebound strongly during the first half of the year, driven by the rapid growth of the province's manufacturing industry.

According to the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Statistics, the province enjoyed year-on-year GDP growth of 5 percent to surpass 6.29 trillion yuan ($886 billion) from January to June despite a complex global environment, indicating a positive trend in Guangdong's economic recovery.

In the first six months of the year, Guangdong's economy represented 10.6 percent of the country's total GDP. The province, whose GDP nearly reached 13 trillion yuan last year, has led China in terms of GDP for 34 consecutive years.

Yang Xinhong, director of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Statistics, acknowledged the hard-won economic achievement, emphasizing the province's efforts to promote the development of the real economy and strengthen the leadership of its manufacturing industry through the launching of numerous projects.

Guangdong's strategy of accelerating the development of its advanced manufacturing industry is bearing fruit, with the province now one of the world's major production bases.

Wang Jun, a counselor with the provincial government and a researcher at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said the province's economy will continue to grow steadily in the second half of the year.

Guangdong has started putting more money into manufacturing, increasing its investment in the secondary sector — involving the manufacturing of raw materials — this year, he said.

"Without investment input, there is no output," Wang said. "Through previous investment growth, we can expect to see more positive results in the second half of the year or beyond."

Lin Jiang, an economics professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said Guangdong's economic rebound was achieved because of its wide range of industries, and the large number of private enterprises there that have played an increasingly important role in the province's economic development in recent years.

Guangdong has great potential to achieve high-quality growth in the months to come, as the province still has room to improve and make breakthroughs in developing its nongovernmental economy and research and development in key areas and industries, he said.

According to statistics from Yang's bureau, Guangdong has achieved impressive milestones in industrial investment, recording double-digit growth for 28 consecutive months through June. The value-added industries above a designated size saw a year-on-year increase of 2.5 percent between January and June, with steady growth in fixed asset investment and total retail sales of consumer goods.

The service industry's added value increased 5.9 percent year-on-year, contributing to the province's economic resilience.

A key feature of Guangdong's economy in the first half of the year is its adaptability amid external challenges, where it steadied the ship in foreign trade by promoting new energy vehicles and other emerging sectors, said Chen Yongjun, a professor at the Guangdong University of Finance and Economics.

"In comparison to the first quarter, several economic indicators in Guangdong have shown improvement, including an accelerated increase in industrial added value, services and retail sales," Chen said. "Guangdong's economy has demonstrated its stability and adaptability, evident in its shift toward manufacturing key electrical products and expanding into emerging markets, reflecting China's economic growth."

Furthermore, Guangdong's exports hit a record high of more than 2.55 trillion yuan ($360 billion) in the first half of the year, up by 3.6 percent year-on-year, marking the first time Guangdong exceeded 2.5 trillion yuan in export volume in a six-month period. The province, which has been the country's biggest foreign trader for decades, continues to leverage foreign trade to drive its overall sustainable economic growth.