Guangzhou’s special economic zone of Nansha has decided to follow a trend among the GBA’s economic growth engines to play down expectations for 2020. Following Dongguan and Shenzhen, which have said they expect growth in 2020 to be several basis points lower than 2019, the region’s fastest-growing major district has said its GDP will grow by only 7.5% in 2020, down sharply from more than 10% in 2019, according to a local media report.
The past year was a good one for Nansha, which has several major construction projects under way. Its GDP was expected to be about 160 billion yuan once official data is released, according to the local government. This would represent 10.3% growth over 2018, a significant surge from 2018’s 6.5% growth.
Key construction projects included the International Finance Forum (IFF) permanent site, the International Financial Island, the Greater Bay Area International Commercial Bank and the Guangzhou Futures Exchange, and the HSBC Global Training Base.
The GDP growth number was not only because of earth being moved and cement being poured, however. The district’s services sector surpassed manufacturing for the first time, accounting for over 50% of Nansha’s total output. The number of enterprises established in Nansha surged 22.3% to 46,000, while utilized foreign capital nearly doubled to US$1.86 billion as 37 new Fortune 500 companies’ investment projects were introduced (a total of 172).
Having said that, manufacturing was no slouch, either. Major projects launched in 2019 included GAC Toyota’s fourth production line, Evergrande’s pure electric vehicles, Denso Phase II, Sinergy, Wisdom Intelligence, and several wafer semiconductors plants, while strategic emerging industries are apparently booming.
A total of 134 leased aircraft and 64 ships were delivered, making Nansha the GBA’s largest aircraft and ship leasing gathering area.
Without explaining why it sees GDP growth dropping to 7.5% in 2020, Nansha said it expects fixed-asset investment growth of 20%, with a healthy dollop of R&D expenditure, which should rise to 3.8% of GDP.