A competitive index released on Feb 25 revealed unbalanced economic development across different regions and provinces in China.
The Blue Book of China’s Provincial Competitiveness (2014-2015), an annual report compiled by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, calculated a competitive score and found remarkable gaps in the eastern, central, western and northeast regions.
“High quality public resources are mainly concentrated in the economically developed regions,” said Pan Jiahua, director of the Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies at the CASS. “The resources in the eastern region should be transferred to the central and western regions on a large scale.”
In the report, researchers from Fujian Normal University and Management World magazine weighed nine crucial indexes including the macroeconomic strength, industrial economic strength, sustainable development and government function of 31 provincial regions.
The eastern region was the most competitive, with a rating of 48.8. Eight out of 10 provinces in the eastern region ranked at the upper level nationwide.
The western region, with a rating of 33 points, lagged far behind. A majority of western provinces ranked at the lower level on a national scale; however, the western region narrowed the gap by 0.58 points in 2014, indicating an increase of competitiveness.
Its competitive disadvantage was also reduced when compared with the central region, which was at 37.8 points.
However, the competitiveness of the northeast region declined in 2014 to 36.6 points. Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces were at the lower level of competitiveness in 2013 and 2014. Although Liaoning province ranked at the upper level, its ranking dropped from eighth in 2013 to ninth in 2014, and its competitiveness score saw the largest decline (-2.41 points) among all 31 provincial regions.
Overall economic competitiveness was highest in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang, while the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Yunnan, Gansu, Qinghai and the Tibet autonomous region ranked the bottom five on the list.
“If the authorities don’t readjust the pattern of national resources, it will be almost impossible for the central and western regions to improve their competitiveness to the level of the eastern region,” Pan said.