People's Republic of China: Three Cities of Guangxi Realizing Their Potential in Regional Networks
The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is among the country’s less-developed provinces. Yet it holds massive potential for growth due to its relationship with two major regional economic initiatives—the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program (GMS) and the PRC-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area.
Guangxi is the only western province or autonomous region in the PRC that has both deepwater seaports and land ports at its international borders. Through intensive investment in construction over the past two decades, Guangxi has built a well-developed expressway system that directly connects Yunnan and Guizhou—two landlocked and less-developed western provinces—with Guangxi's seaports at the Beibu Gulf and its land ports at the international border with Viet Nam.
Further development of three cities in Guangxi—Baise, Chongzuo, and Fangchenggang, which sit at strategic positions on the GMS’s regional transport corridors—was needed to foster the region’s economic transformation. To achieve this goal, the government proposed a development project as part of the Asian Development Bank’s support for accelerated urbanization in the area and balanced economic development to alleviate regional poverty.
In 2010 ADB approved a loan of $150 million for the Guangxi Southwestern Cities Development Project to improve living conditions in three cities of Guangxi, People’s Republic of China while strengthening their ability to benefit from regional economic cooperation and integration. Work included construction and upgrading of roads; improvement of municipal services such as water supply pipelines, drainage and sewage systems, and lighting and traffic control; landscaping; and the building of coastal dikes and public education facilities to promote mangrove and lakeside environmental protection.
“The project has accelerated urban development not only through creating jobs away from agriculture for poor farmers from the surrounding counties, but also as part of the national development strategy to integrate this less-developed southwestern region with the international market through transport networks,” says Director General of ADB’s East Asia Department Teresa Kho.
This was first posted on the ADB website.