China on Thursday unveiled a 2008-2020 development plan for the southern Pearl River Delta, which has been at the forefront of the country's reform and opening-up drive, initiated in 1978.
The following are the ambitious goals the national government has set for the area over the next 12 years, under the plan issued by the National Development and Reform Commission.
POSITIONING OF THE REGION
-- A pilot area for exploration of so-called "scientific development." The region will get more autonomy in economic restructuring, coordinating balanced urban and rural development and building a harmonious society.
-- An avant-garde area for deepening reforms. The area will continue to serve as "an experimental field" of the country's 30-year-old reforms. Key breakthroughs in economic, political, cultural and social reforms are expected during the region's "bold" tryouts.
-- A crucial frontier of wider opening up to the world. The Pearl River Delta will be joined by the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions in "a globally competitive" and "most vigorous" area in the Asia-Pacific region.
-- A center of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries. The delta will follow a high-end development strategy in building the manufacturing center, which will lead to a number of globally competitive manufacturers and brands. The region will also develop a modern service architecture that accommodates the needs of Hong Kong, an international financial center. It will also become a center for international shipping, logistics, trade, conferences and exhibitions and tourism.
-- A leading national economic power. The delta region is intended to maintain its lead in terms of economic power within China. It will also expand into a Pan-Pearl-River-Delta area that will have a greater influence on the regional development of south China and become a more powerful "engine" of the national economy.
-- By 2012, per capita annual output of the region will reach 80,000 yuan (11,708 U.S. dollars), with 53 percent from the service sector. The per capita output value for 2007 was more than7,000 U.S. dollars.
-- The per capita income of urban and rural residents will see a "marked" increase over that of 2007 by 2012, although no target was set. No 2007 figures were available for the per capita income of urban or rural residents, but the disposable income of urban residents was 19,371 yuan in 2007.
-- Average lifespan will reach 78 years by 2012.
-- More than 80 percent of the area will be urbanized by 2012.
-- The social security system will cover all urban and rural residents by 2012 to ensure basic public services for all.
-- Pension insurance will cover more than 95 percent of urban workers, more than 80 percent of migrant workers and more than 60 percent of rural residents by 2012.
-- Two to three cities will be developed into centers of service outsourcing with a complete industry chain by 2012.
-- By 2020, regional per capita annual output will rise to 135,000 yuan, with 60 percent from the service sector. Services will account for 20 percent of regional trade by 2012 and more than 40 percent by 2020.
-- The per capita income of urban and rural residents will double that of 2012 by 2020.
-- The average lifespan will be further raised to 80 years by 2020.
-- About 85 percent of the area will be urbanized by 2020.
-- The region also expects to develop 10 China-based multinationals with annual sales of 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
-- Two to three mega-size auto makers will emerge in the region with output worth more than 100 billion yuan each by 2020.
-- Equipment manufacturing in the region will focus on five areas: nuclear power facilities, wind power equipment, power transmission and distribution facilities, numerically controlled machine tools and ocean engineering equipment.
-- There will be an extra-large petroleum and chemical industry base in the region, with two or three mega refiners and ethylene producers by 2020.
-- By 2020, the contribution of high-end manufacturing to industrial output will exceed 50 percent.
The Pearl River Delta here mainly refers to the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Huizhou and Zhaoqing in south China's Guangdong Province. These nine cities are the main body of the Pearl River Delta region.
The plan, however, covers a larger area that goes beyond these cities and includes cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.