Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta
As the pioneer of the reform and opening-up and an important economic hub of China, the Pearl River Delta has played a remarkable leading role and had an important strategic status in the overall effort of China to pursue economic and social development and carry on the reform and opening-up. Since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy, under the correct leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the Pearl River Delta, through carrying out drastic reforms, taking a lead in opening up to the outside world, and striving ambitiously for progress, has achieved historic breakthroughs in economic and social development and made great contribution to the nationwide reform and opening-up and the socialist modernization drive. At present, profound changes are taking place in the economic situations at home and abroad, and the Pearl River Delta is at the crucial point for transforming its economic structure and development pattern. This region faces both rigorous challenges and great opportunities in its further development. On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the reform and opening-up, we have formulated this outline of the program for the reform and development of the Pearl River Delta with an eye to the broader national strategy and long-term development plan of the country, in order that the Pearl River Delta can add or create new advantages, reach a new level of development, and further play its leading and exemplary role for the whole country.
Geographically, this outline focuses on Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Huizhou, and Zhaoqing, reaching out to the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region. Related contents of close cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao are also included. The period covered by the outline spans from the present to 2020.
This outline shall serve as the program of action for the reform and development of today and a period to come and the basis for compiling relevant specialized plans in the Pearl River Delta.
I. Great Significance of Accelerating the Reform and Development in the Pearl River Delta
1. Achievements of the Reform and Development in the Past 30 Years
Over the past 30 years since the beginning of the reform and opening-up, by serving as the "experimental field" of the reform, the Pearl River Delta took a lead in the market-oriented reform and established a framework of socialist market economy at a rather early stage, having consequently become the region with the highest marketization level and the most complete market system throughout China. By taking advantage of its geographical vicinity with Hong Kong and Macao and seizing the historic opportunities provided by the international industrial transfer and productive factors reconfiguration, the region took the lead to establish an export-oriented economic system and become a region with the highest portion of export in its economy and an important window for China's opening-up ; The region propelled Guangdong Province's transformation from an originally backward large agricultural province into the No. 1 economic province of the country, with its economic aggregates surpassing those of three of the "Four Asian Tigers", namely, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore one after another, which laid a solid foundation for building a world-class manufacturing base here, and became an engine for China's economic and social development. With highly concentrated population and economic factors, rapid urbanization as well as rather complete infrastructure, a cluster of modernized cities with features special to South China has taken shape in this region, making this region one of the three major zones of urban concentration. Here, the income levels for both urban and rural citizens have greatly improved, the social insurance system has preliminarily formed for both urban and rural areas, various social undertakings including education, science and technology, culture, health and sports have developed very fast, and the public service system has basically come into existence. Now the Pearl River Delta stands at a new and higher historic starting point. The great achievements of the reform and development in the Pearl River Delta justifiably testifies that development is of overriding importance and that reform and opening-up are indispensable for building the socialism with Chinese characteristics and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
2. Challenges and Opportunities
Along with the further development of economic globalization and regional economic integration, especially against the current backdrop where the international financial crisis has been spreading incessantly with an increasingly deepening impact on real economy, the economic development of the Pearl River Delta has suffered serious setbacks. Due to the interweaving of impact of the international financial crisis with the unresovled structural imbalance, of the drastic decrease of overseas demand with redundant capacities of certain industries, and of violent fluctuation of raw materials prices with the rather high degree of dependence on international markets, the economy in the region now sees greater difficulties and some deep-rooted conflicts and problems have become more prominent. Such conflicts and problems mainly include: The overall industrial level is low, the value added to the products is not much, the trade structure is unreasonable, the innovative capability is insufficient, and the overall competitiveness is not strong; the land has been excessively developed, the ability to guarantee energy and resources supply is inadequate, the problem of environmental pollution becomes prominent, the constraints of resources and environment are outstanding, and the traditional pattern of development is insustainable; the imbalance of development still exists between the urban and rural areas and among different regions, the distribution of production forces is not rational, and the use of space is not efficient; the social undertakings remain relatively backward, and the levels of human resources development,public services and the cultural soft strength need to be further improved; the reform of the government and social administration systems are still strenuous, and the pre-breakthrough reforms face ever more challenging difficulties. On the other hand, the Pearl River Delta faces great opportunities: The trend of international industries transfer to the Asian-Pacific region will not change, the regional economic cooperation and exchange in Asia is on the upswing, and the formation of the China-ASEAN free trade zone is picking up its speed; China is still in a stage of important strategic opportunities, the process of industrialization, informatization, urbanization, marketization, and internationalization is developing further, the economic integration among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao is accelerating, and there are strong potentials for economic development; and especially, thanks to its development in the past 30 years, a solid material foundation has been forged in the Pearl River Delta with remarkably enhanced economic strength and competitiveness in regional economy. All these have provided advantageous conditions and vast room for speeding up the reform and development of the Pearl River Delta.
3. Great Significance
In this new situation, to encourage the Peal River Delta to accelerate its reform and development, make full use of its advantages, focus on the resolution of prominent problems, turn pressures into impetuses and challenges into opportunities, reduce the adverse effects of the international financial crisis to a minimum degree, and speed up the sound and fast economic and social development not only is the necessary choice of the region in order to transform its economic development pattern, but also meet the urgent need of the country to sustain its current economic growth and the strategic need to achieve scientific development. To accelerate the reform and development of the Pearl River Delta is conducive to pursuing the strategic adjustment of the economic structure of the region and adding to the momentum and vitality of its economic development; elevating China's comprehensive strength, international competitiveness, and ability to resist international risks so as to better participate in international cooperation and competition; influencing and promoting the economic development in the peripheral areas of the Pearl River Delta and the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region so as to facilitate the formation of a new pattern of regional economic development characterized by mutual complementation with each other's advantages and interaction for common progress; implementing the "One country, two systems" guideline to maintain the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao; furthering the innovation of systems and mechanisms to explore new roads and provide new experience for building scientific development systems and mechanisms.