China: The Pearl River Delta Integration Plan

In 1978, China launched a policy of “reform and opening-up”, which catalyzed the economic development of modern day China. Leading the way in the implementation of this policy was South China’s Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, according to an article from China Briefing.

Today, the PRD is one of China’s most open and dynamic regions. The PRD is known as “The Factory of the World” and in 2016 the combined GDP of the 11 cities in the region was RMB 9.35 trillion (US$1.38 trillion). This accounted for 12 percent of China’s economy that year, even though the region only accounts for five percent of the country’s population. If the region were a country, it would be the fifth largest economy in Asia.

Despite its success, the Chinese government will not allow the PRD to rest on its laurels. As the region faces increasing competition from countries such as India and Vietnam for low-cost manufacturing, the PRD must become even more open and innovative by taking a leading role in China’s next stage of economic development.

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