Shenzhen’s latest Five Year Plan envisages annual GDP growth of 6% from 2020-25. The plan, which was only formally released yesterday, sets a target of the city’s economy reaching 4 trillion yuan by 2025 – which is roughly 3.5 years from now. By that date, per-capita GDP is expected to have grown by a similar rate – 6% per year – which suggests the city government does not anticipate enlarging its official population (i.e., those with a Shenzhen hukou). The supply of public housing units, however, will be enlarged by 280,000 units.
(GBI comment: Shenzhen has been the country’s fastest-growing major city – in terms of population – together with Guangzhou for many years. It blew past its population growth predictions in the last Five-Year-Plan, as noted by the SCMP, but now apparently is doing away with incentives designed to attract talent to the city.)
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Think Guangzhou is big? Think again. The city government has released a draft urban masterplan that envisages building the provincial capital into an “international metropolis”, with a population of 20 million, by the end of the current GBA masterplan in 2035.
That would mean adding 5.1 million residents – presumably all “talents” – over the next 15 years. That is an average of 300,000 per year. It would be an easing of its current growth rate, though: Guangzhou added 566,367 residents last year. That was No. 2 in the country for population growth, behind Shenzhen.
To support this growth, the city plans to build two million new housing units, of which at least 8% will be social housing. How will all these people get to and from home and work? On a railway network that will be adding 2,000 km of tracks, four times its current length. Hi-speed lines will bring in visitors from cities further away, such as Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau, while the Metro will be extended into neighboring cities as well. Moreover, a second airport is currently being planned in the area between Guangzhou and Dongguan.
Still think Hong Kong will be the GBA’s “dragon head”? Really?
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