Shanghai and Yangtze River Delta Megaregion

The Yangtze River Delta (YRD which includes Shanghai), one of the major engines of China’s economic growth, has a level of urbanisation that sees it at the head of the national league. At present, a number of the region’s provinces are engaged in building several new-style urban clusters, including work on enhancing the construction of individual cities and townships. At the same time, inter-city and cross-regional transportation systems and other infrastructure development projects are also being improved across the YRD region. Many of the YRD provinces are now committed to promoting a wider spectrum of industries, spurring economic development, and boosting regional employment. They have also taken a lead in building smart cities, strengthening the quality and efficiency of urban management, and in facilitating the development of low-carbon, livable cities. All of this offers clear business prospects for a number of Hong Kong-based businesses.

China’s urbanisation rate jumped from below 37% in 2000 to 53.7% in 2013. The YRD region has a level of urbanisation that places it at the very top of the national league. In 2013, the YRD provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang had a per-capita GDP of Rmb74,607 and Rmb68,462, respectively. This is notably higher than the national figure of Rmb41,908. In another telling statistic, the urbanisation rate of both provinces hit 64%. This is higher than the national average by about 10 percentage points, and places it third – behind only Guangdong (67.8%) and Liaoning (66.5%) – among mainland provinces.

The region accounts for 20 percent of China’s Gross Domestic Product and is responsible for one third of its imports and exports.

YRD should by 80% urban before 2020

Shanghai is at the core of the larger Yangtze River Delta, home to nearly 160 million residents crowded into an area the size of Oregon. The Yangtze Delta includes the provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu and stretches from Ningbo, through Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Changzhou, and Zhenjiang to Nanjing.

With 20% of the GDP of China, this area already has about $2.2 to 2.5 trillion (nominal) in GDP and should be about $3 to 3.5 trillion in 2020 and about the level of Japan’s GDP before 2030.

Per capita GDP is already at US$15,000 per person and should be $20,000 by 2020 and $30,000 per person before 2030. On a Purchasing power parity basis the whole YRD is almost at $25000 per person already.

The top half of China admin regions. There 31 admin regions in China. Shanghai is 3rd, Jiangsu is 4th and Zhejiang is 5th

Here is a Yangtze River Delta fact sheet that has details on several areas.

The two other main megaregions in China are Beijing-Bohai area and the Guangzhou-Pearl River Delta area

The three major economic mega-urban zones are the pearl river delta in the south (merging into one 42 million person city) and Yangtze River delta around Shanghai and the Bohai economic rim

The area around Beijing and Tianjin, two of China’s most important cities, is being ringed with a network of high-speed railways that will create a super-urban area known as the Bohai Economic Rim. China is merging Beijing/Tianjin and several other cities around the Bohai Sea into one big super-urban zone over the next several years. By 2020 there could be 260,000,000 people (3% of the world’s population) in one big super-city.

President Xi Jinping has a signature project to link 130 million people across Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province into a single megalopolis, the so-called Jing-Jin-Ji region.

The Bohai Bay area would become a key growth plank, similar to the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. Vice-Minister of Finance Wang Baoan has said the new metropolis would require an investment of 42 trillion yuan (HK$52.7 trillion) over the years. The region’s gross domestic product was US$1 trillion last year, similar to South Korea’s, and the 15th highest in the world. But wealth is spread unevenly: per-capita GDP of Beijing is US$15,000, while Tianjin’s is US$11,500 and Hebei’s only US$6,300.

The Pearl River Delta grew from 4,500 square kilometres in 2000 to nearly 7,000 sq km in 2010, the analysis found. Treating the Pearl River Delta as a single urban area, it is now bigger than Tokyo in terms of geographical size and population.

PRD is one of the most vibrant economic regions. In 2013, Real GDP of the PRD grew by an average of 9.4%

The PRD accounted for 53.7% of Guangdong’s population or 4.2% of China’s total population
The PRD accounted for 79.1% of Guangdong’s GDP or 9.3% of China’s GDP
The PRD accounted for 95.4% of Guangdong’s exports or 27.5% of China’s total export
The PRD accounted for 73% of Guangdong’s retail sales or 8% of China’s total retail sales of consumer goods

More Background

Deutsche Bank has projiles of Jiangsu and each of the other Chinese Provinces

SOURCES – Wikipedia, China Trade Research, McKinsey

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