16 May 2019
Zhaoqing (Guangdong) City Information
Major Economic Indicators
|Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)||211.00||5.21||220.18||6.61|
|Per Capita GDP (RMB)||51,464||4.51||53,267||—|
|Added Value Output|
|- Primary Industry (RMB bn)||32.66||3.61||34.79||4.81|
|- Secondary Industry (RMB bn)||77.15||2.31||77.47||7.01|
|- Tertiary Industry (RMB bn)||101.19||9.91||107.93||6.91|
|Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)||88.26||4.91||—||7.91|
|Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)||149.76||9.01||134.30||10.01|
|Retail Sales of Consumer Goods (RMB bn)||80.99||10.6||—||10.2|
|Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)||—||1.6||—||1.5|
|Exports (RMB bn)||22.23||-28.0||23.77||6.9|
|Imports (RMB bn)||13.57||-9.0||15.22||12.2|
|Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ mn)||181||-51.1||—||—|
1 In renminbi real terms
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Zhaoqing Statistics Bureau
Zhaoqing – literally ‘source of fortuitousness’ – is located in the central-west part of Guangdong province. It has a total area of 14,891 sq km and had a permanent population of 4.15 million in 2018. Administratively, the city is divided into three districts (Duanzhou, Dinghu and Gaoyao) and four counties (Guangning, Deqing, Fengkai and Huaiji). More than 50 minerals, including iron, gold and copper, can be found in the immediate vicinity of the city, with the area also endowed with an abundance of fresh water, Chinese medicinal herbs and forestry resources. Within Guangdong, Zhaoqing acts as a hub/gateway connecting the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region to China’s south-west region, a role in keeping with the national strategy of boosting “east-west connectivity”.
According to the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Zhaoqing is to leverage on its strengths, deepen reform and innovation, and to become a key node city with distinct characteristics. Zhaoqing will enhance collaboration and connectivity among industries in the Greater Bay Area, and raise the level of coordinated development, and to further develop Zhaoqing (Huaji) as a distribution base for green agricultural by-products.
The primary sector maintained a share of around 15% in recent years while the share of the tertiary continued to increase at the expense of the secondary sector.
Composition of GDP (%)
Source: Zhaoqing Statistics Bureau
Zhaoqing has six key traditional industries – textiles and garments, food and beverages, furniture, building materials, metal products and home appliances. In total, these six industries contributed 33% of the city’s value-added industrial output in 2017 while new and high-tech industries accounted for about 6.6%.
Under the terms of Zhaoqing’s 13th Five-Year Plan, five industries have been prioritised for future development – advanced equipment manufacturing (e.g. new-energy cars), new materials industries (e.g. photovoltaics and carbon fibres), high-end new-type electronic information industries (e.g. optoelectronic components), biomedicines (e.g. dietary supplements and animal vaccines), and energy-saving and eco-friendly industries (e.g. solar energy).
The city is also looking to promote cloud computing, big data and industrial robotics in order to boost the smart capabilities of its manufacturing sector and as part of its overall technological upgrade process. Plans are also in place to nurture a number of industrial clusters in several different sectors, including car parts and components, environmental protection equipment and intelligent equipment. It is anticipated that each of these clusters will eventually be worth hundreds of billions of yuan.
In the agriculture sector, Zhaoqing’s Huaiji county is one of Guangdong’s primary grain production bases. In order to further develop this resource, the 13th Five-Year Plan stresses the importance of adopting the “internet + agriculture” production and operational mode. In a further move, the development of online sales, initially focusing on speciality agricultural by-products, will also be prioritised. This is seen as essential if Zhaoqing is to evolve into a modern agricultural demonstration zone in addition to its role as an organic produce transaction hub for the PRD city cluster.
In a further move, Zhaoqing will also look to actively develop new consumption formats and modes, with a particular emphasis on sports, healthcare, leisure and travel, and green food.
Foreign Trade and Investment
At present, machinery and electrical products are the mainstay of Zhaoqing’s exports, accounting for 38% of the total in 2018. In 2016, 70% of the city’s foreign-invested enterprises were Hong Kong-funded. In the same year, the utilised direct investment from Hong Kong companies accounted for 81.5% of the total of all such investment. Overall, the 2018 value of Zhaoqing’s export and import trade with Hong Kong accounted for 17% of the total for that year.
Zhaoqing is also rich in tourism resources, with its most well-known attractions including the Seven-star Crags and the Dinghu Mountain. In another boost to visitor numbers, the city is also renowned for a number of traditional handicraft products, most notably Duan inkstones and Guangning green jade. In 2018, international tourists revenue grew by 3.5% to US$362 million. With the number of Hong Kong tourists visiting the area growing every year, Zhaoqing values its cultural connections with Hong Kong and is keen to promote its Duan inkstone culture as a means of further boosting visitor numbers.
Zhaoqing works closely with Hong Kong and Macau across a number of different sectors, including finance, trade, tourism and education. Zhaoqing is also keen to work more closely with Hong Kong and Macau service providers in the general healthcare and elderly care sectors.