China has made steady progress in implementing its coordinated regional development strategy, contributing to its stable and sound economic growth and high-quality development.
The strategy includes advancing development in the western region, revitalizing the northeast, energizing the central region, integrating the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt, the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and the planning and building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
As a result, regional development has become more balanced. Calculated with constant prices, the average annual growth rate of per capita GDP in the eastern, central, western, and northeastern regions in China between 1953 and 2018 was 7.2 percent, 8.2 percent, 8.5 percent, and 6.1 percent, respectively.
Coordinated regional development is a crucial step to tap into development potential and foster growth drivers.
China will create a medium-high-end consumption market of nearly 500 million people in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), which will significantly expand the country’s consumption demands, according to a report issued by the Academy of Macroeconomic Research (AMR) under the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Zhang Yan, an associate researcher at AMR, said that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a world-class bay area, will play an important role in driving economic growth and scientific and technological innovation, adding that the country will build it into a global innovation hub.
To further promote coordinated regional development, China needs to work faster to remove barriers between urban and rural areas and enhance the level of equal access to basic public services to boost domestic demand, Zhang noted.
The country also needs to address the infrastructural gap between the eastern and western region that hinders coordinated development. To this end, support for the western region will be intensified to build more railways and graded highways and improve the internet penetration rate.