People’s Republic of China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)  

Quick Facts

Yunnan Province
Population 48 million (2016)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 424 billion (2016)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 8,895 (2016)
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Population 56 million (2016)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 528 billion (2016)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 9,465 (2016)

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The southern parts of the People’s Republic of China that are part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) are rich in agriculture. The Yunnan region produces rice, corn, barley, wheat, rapeseed, sweet potatoes, soybeans, tea and other crops, as well as livestock. Because the area is mountainous, Yunnan is also home to spectacular rice terraces. The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is similarly blessed with a wide variety of agricultural products, including oranges, rice, beans, corn, cassava, cinnamon, bananas, vegetables, durian, pineapples, and tea, as well as livestock. Both areas trade products and expertise with their GMS neighbors.

The PRC has established itself as a leader in the development of renewable energy, and the GMS member areas of Yunnan and Guangxi are no exception. Hydropower, wind and solar projects operate in the areas. The two regions also benefit from the rural electrification programs of the national Government, and share renewable energy expertise with their GMS partners.

Yunnan and Guangxi are rich ecological areas with much to contribute to the GMS environment sector. Guangxi is mountainous, with a diverse range of plant life. More than a third of Yunnan is forested, twice the average of other regions in the PRC. Yunnan has more species of tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frigid-zone plants than anywhere else in the country. Both areas are seeking sustainable management of their environments in coordination with their GMS partners.

The Chinese regions of the GMS have been active participants in human resource development. Yunnan and Guangxi have conducted cross-border health cooperation programs, and short-term training courses in numerous fields. Government scholarships have also been offered to GMS students, and a great number of educational exchanges have been held. Yunnan and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also cooperate with their GMS partners on migration issues, the protection of women and indigenous groups, and youth development.

Yunnan and Guangxi have in recent years upgraded their telecommunication connections with Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam. Work is also underway to expand Internet links to Thailand.

The two Chinese regions of GMS are home to a vast array of popular tourism sites, not only for domestic tourism, but also for visitors from surrounding GMS countries. Guangxi, for example, is a top destination for visitors from Viet Nam. In Yunnan, tourism infrastructure is being developed with a focus on community participation. Both Guangxi and Yunnan are developing meeting and convention tourism that draws visitors from GMS countries.

Trade between neighboring GMS countries and the Yunnan and Guangxi regions of PRC has grown exponentially in the last ten years. Myanmar, Viet Nam and Thailand are top trading partners of Yunnan, and comprise a significant proportion of their trade. Yunnan and Guangxi have coordinated on enhancing cross-border trade with their GMS neighbors, and have acted as a gateway to greater trade with the PRC.

In the area of transport, Yunnan and Guangxi have played an important role in the development of road networks, and economic corridors, that bind the Greater Mekong Subregion together. This includes the Yunnan Expressway (Chuxiang–Dali), and the Southern and Western Yunnan roads. The expansion of rail services has also been a key aspect of Yunnan and Guangxi’s contribution to transport in the subregion. The Singapore-Kunming rail project is another important link in the GMS transport system.

ADB and PRC: Fact Sheet

The GMS ministers called for a Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program to enhance the cross-border flow of goods and people, and for a coordinated approach to developing urban areas throughout the region. A vendor selling different products in a market in Thailand. Photo: ADB.

Ministers Endorse Plans to Develop New Special Economic Zones in Mekong

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (11 June 2015) – Government ministers and senior officials attending the Greater Mekong Subregion Seventh Economic Corridors Forum today agreed on measures to promote the development of economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation.

News Releases

GMS Economic Corridors Forum Looks to Enhance Cross-Border Trade

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (10 June 2015) – Ministers and senior officials from the six Greater Mekong Subregion countries and the Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank will convene tomorrow at the 7th GMS Economic Corridors Forum to discuss how to further develop economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation – including the development of Special Economic Zones.

News Releases

Fourth Meeting of the Trade Facilitation Working Group: Summary of Proceedings

The Fourth Meeting of the Trade Facilitation Working Group (TFWG-4) was held on 11-12 November 2004 in Kunming, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Sun Yuanjiang, Director, Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, People's Republic of China; and Mr. Robert Boumphrey Director, and Ms. Lingling Ding, Trade Economist, Governance, Finance and Trade Division, Mekong Department (MKGF), alternating for ADB.