Liaoning grows, but broad NE China revival elusive
The GDP of Northeast China’s Liaoning Province increased 5.8 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2019, Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Statistics announced on Wednesday. But analysts said that an overall revival of Northeast China remains an elusive goal, because the other two provinces in the region are lagging Liaoning and the national average.
Northeast China, the country’s old industrial base, consists of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. The economy of Jilin grew by 2.4 percent and Heilongjiang grew by 5.3 percent yearon-year in the first quarter of 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Liaoning’s GDP was up 6.1 percent, the first time in four years it achieved 6-percent-plus growth.
“Liaoning’s growth rate, though lower than the national average, is hard-won and shows an economic recovery,” Liang Qidong, researcher at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. “It’s hard to say that Northeast China has seen a stable economic revitalization as Jilin and Heilongjiang have failed to recover,” said Liang.
Since 2014, Northeast China has been struggling for revival. But it’s been hard to achieve. Heilongjiang’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019 was the third-lowest among China’s 34 provincial-level administrative units, and Jilin placed last.
“The two provinces should learn from their peer. Liaoning achieved consecutive increases in growth rate.” Liang said.
“Reforms and measures rolled out by central government in 2016 started working to revitalize the region, which was struggling with industrial decline, falling investment and a unfriendly business environment. A series of support policies were released, a free trade zone was set up in Liaoning, administration was streamlined and the business environment improved,” the Xinhua News Agency reported.
“Liaoning’s economic growth benefited from high-technology industry, industrial transformation and opening-up,” said Liang.
Technology enterprises contributed to Liaoning’s growth with more than 1,000 new hightechnology companies established in Liaoning last year, Xinhua reported. The Huawei Artificial Intelligence industry base and JD’S digital economy industrial park were newcomers.
The added value of high-technology manufacturing above the provincial scale in 2018 increased by 19.8 percent year-on-year, according to the Liaoning statistical office.