Four delta cities on mainland's rich list

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2008, 12:00am

The Pearl River Delta remains the mainland's economic powerhouse, with four cities there making it to the list of richest cities, according to official figures.

The number of mainland cities with gross domestic products exceeding 300 billion yuan more than doubled last year, rising from six to 13.

Two Guangdong cities, Dongguan and Foshan, were among seven new cities on the list of 13 'super-rich' cities, mainland media reported.

Foshan's GDP is greater than that of Qinghai province, whose area is 189 times bigger. The other two listed cities from the Pearl River Delta are Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

China News Service said other newly qualified 'rich cities' included Chengdu in western Sichuan province and Wuhan in central Hubei, showing that prosperity was spreading from coastal regions to central and western parts. Rapid growth also saw the economies of Ningbo, Nanjing and Dalian surge past the 300-billion-yuan mark.

The news would be a confidence boost for the Pearl River Delta, which has lost some of its cachet to other emerging economic regions such as the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai area in recent years. Some reports have suggested its importance to the mainland's economy is waning.

The news report said the economy of the Pearl River Delta picked up rapidly after a slowdown in 2005. Foshan's economy more than doubled from 165 billion yuan in 2004 to 350 billion yuan last year, with an average annual growth of more than 19 per cent. The report said Dongguan's growth was even more rapid, but it did not provide a figure. 'The latest figures show that the Pearl River Delta is still one of the most vibrant regions on the mainland,' it said.

The PRD, which covers nine prefectures of Guangdong province, is the mainland's manufacturing, finance and service industries centre.

Guangdong's GDP surpassed those of Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong last year, the report said without giving figures. It now accounted for 12.5 per cent of the mainland's GDP, making the province 'China's California'.