Hi-tech industry helps Shenzhen beat GDP goal

Mayor's work report to pledge more investment in Qianhai zone on back of 10.5pc growth in 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 3:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 3:56am

Shenzhen's economic growth exceeded the city's target last year, largely thanks to investments in information technology and other hi-tech industries, according to a government work report due to be delivered to the municipal people's congress today.

Mayor Xu Qin will tell delegates that the city's economy grew by 10.5 per cent last year compared with 2012. Xu early last year set a target of a 9 per cent rise in gross domestic product. Per capita GDP in the city reached US$22,000.

Xu's work report said Shenzhen's six strategic industries - biotechnology, information technology, new energy, new materials, telecommunications and the cultural and creative industry - recorded growth of 19.8 per cent last year.

A copy of the document was seen by the South China Morning Post.

Shenzhen invested more than 50 billion yuan (HK$63.6 billion) in research and development, accounting for about 4 per cent of local GDP.

The city will set an economic growth target of 10 per cent this year. It will also commit to accelerating the development of the Qianhai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong co-operation zone.

Xu will highlight for delegates the importance of drawing Hong Kong investment to the Qianhai economic zone. He also wants to encourage officials at Qianhai to get more involved in cross-border and offshore finance.

Xu expects to invest 120 billion yuan to develop Qianhai's basic infrastructure and commercial properties projects this year, according to the report. He believes more than 10,000 enterprises will open offices in Qianhai, generating an output of more than 100 billion yuan.

The mayor will also call for greater co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, including holding regular meetings between leaders from the two cities. He will highlight plans to cut pollution and reduce energy use.

Xu said 3,100 polluting factories were forced to close last year as energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 4.3 per cent compared with 2012. That number may fall by another 4.25 per cent this year, according to the report.

Shenzhen Municipal People's Congress deputy Yang Qin said Shenzhen has done a good job developing its economy compared with other cities on the mainland. But he said the city still had several economic and social problems to deal with, including heavy pollution, traffic jams and expensive medical care.