China’s regions which boast balanced economic structures took the lead in the growth stakes throughout last year, while more inner regions that used to lag behind are catching up through industrial upgrades, the latest regional economic data has showed.
The data revealed that of 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions that released their economic data in 2016, a total of 21 achieved GDP growth above 7 percent.
Leading them were the Tibet autonomous region, Chongqing and Guizhou provinces which remained the top three with the highest year-on-year growth rates of 11.5 percent, 10.7 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.
An analyst said that the inland regions of Tibet and Guizhou relied more on central government policy support.
But E-house China R & D Institute researcher Yan Yuejin said Chongqing’s high speed growth had more to do with its balanced economic structure as well as the government’s actions to control the property market.
“The invisible hand of the government played a key role,” Yan said, referring to the municipal government’s series of initiatives designed to stabilize the property prices amid robust GDP growth. These included a strategy of forward land reserves and steady land release, in a move to more effectively control land supply.
Another policy tool was the municipality’s subsidized housing program, which met local residents’ housing demand.
Chongqing Mayor Zhang Gouqing said his city wanted to tackle improving its weaker areas in 2017, including developing a high tech manufacturing industry and improving its imports and exports.
Meanwhile, the director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Alan Zhou, suggested the Chongqing government move to prevent population outflows, especially among the young, and attract more foreign manufacturing companies to invest there.