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Guangdong Province’s Economy Exceeds South Korea, Russia, Spain

Guangdong Province’s Economy Exceeds South Korea, Russia, Spain

Hong Kong can leverage the economic engine north of the border.

The economic engines of Guangdong province and Shanghai have released their report card for 2023, clocking GDP growth of 4.8% and 5% respectively.

The southern province’s expansion rate is below expectation, but with a GDP that stands at 13 trillion yuan (US$1.83 trillion), Guangdong is now economically larger than the economies of South Korea, Russia and Spain. New industries as such electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotics, new energy, ultra-high-definition video displays, biomedicine and others as well as the continuous industrial upgrade towards advanced manufacturing have propelled Guangdong, with its 75,000 high-tech enterprises, to leadership position in industrial and economic development.

Meanwhile Shanghai sets a new record in foreign investment utilization in 2023, which is the actual use of foreign capital, at a record high of 171 billion yuan (US$24 billion). The city is also solidifying itself as an advanced technology and manufacturing hub and thus driving the economic development of the Yangtze River Delta, rivalling the Greater Bay Area (“GBA”).

The GBA, the industrial heart of Guangdong and which Hong Kong is a constituent, has the critical task of ensuring the province achieves at least 5% economic growth for 2024 as Beijing seeks to turn the region into a world-class economic hub to rival the world’s major bay areas such as Tokyo and San Francisco, as well as making certain it has the assets to remain an economic engine for the nation.

The region is famed for industrial supply chain clusters, manufacturing and export, it is therefore important to build on existing strengths to maintain a strong competitive edge.

Hong Kong, with expertise in financial and investment services, stands to benefit. Guangdong would “join hands with Hong Kong and Macau to ensure integration into Mainland China’s economy and also enhance modern economic development”, as explained by the Guangdong provincial government.

In additional to professional services, Hong Kong is also establishing itself as a technology centre as there is no shortage of local talent in advance manufacturing, software development, artificial intelligence and robotics, that will help grow Hong Kong’s technology industries with new startups and expansion of existing enterprises, and many of which will or have already expanded into the GBA for product development and manufacturing.