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

Quick Facts

Yunnan Province
Population 48 million (2017)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 466 billion (2017)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 9,700 (2017)
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Population 56 million (2017)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 575 billion (2017)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 10,194 (2017)

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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

Cross-border Freight Transport between Lao PDR – PRC Launched

Two trucks were flagged off at the launch of cross-border freight transport between Kunming in Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), on 25 August. The Vientiane-bound truck from PRC carried around 3 million CNY (around $464,000) worth of machinery, equipment, and electronic appliances, while the truck bound for Kunming carried Laotian goods. Both trucks will pass through the Bohan (PRC)-Boten (Lao PDR) border checkpoint.

GMS in the News

Viet Nam Seeks Support from GZAR, PRC, to Facilitate Agri Export

Mr. Nguyen Hong Dien, Viet Nam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, requested support from Mr. Lu Xinshe, Party Secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China (GZAR, PRC), to facilitate cross-border trade between Viet Nam and the PRC by (i) upgrading border gates, (ii) restoring customs services at sealed off border gates, and (iii) extending the operating hours of customs clearance services at border gates, border crossings, and markets.

GMS in the News

Thai Durian Association Seeks Linkage between Thailand's Rail Network and the Lao PDR-PRC Railway

The Thai Durian Association called on the Government of Thailand to ease the bottleneck hindering durian exports to the People's Republic of China (PRC) by linking Thailand's rail network with the Lao PDR-PRC railway. The railway offers a potential route for durian shipments to the PRC, where there is huge demand for the fruit. Mr. Phanusak Saiphanich, chairman of the association, notes there is currently no connection between the Thai rail network and the Lao PDR-PRC railway.

GMS in the News

Aerial photo of the Nanpeng Highway Bonded Logistics Center in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality via Xinhua

Significant Growth for Cross-border Highway Freight Service in Chongqing, PRC

Cross-border highway freight service in Chongqing, People's Republic of China, grew significantly in the first half of 2021. Data from Chongqing Highway Logistics Base showed that 1,666 trucks transported goods worth about 997 million yuan ($154 million), up 70% and 107% year on year, respectively, from January to June. Chongqing launched its cross-border highway freight service in 2016. This year, it started new highway cross-border freight routes linking the inland city with Vientiane, Lao PDR. The service presently operates nine routes linked to ASEAN countries and Central Asia.

GMS in the News

Luang Prabang Station along Lao PDR-People's Republic of China Railway Nears Completion

The Luang Prabang Station along the Lao PDR-People's Republic of China (PRC) railway is set to be completed in August, notes the China Radio International Vientiane. It will have two platforms, four tracks, and a station hall that can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The station’s roof incorporates a distinctive “three vertical lines, one diagonal” design in the steel structure.  

GMS in the News

Vientiane toll station photo by _khamla_phimmasone_US$. This file comes from Mapillary.com, a service for sharing geotagged photos. All photos are under a CC BY-SA 4.0

Lao PDR-PRC Expressway to Improve Connectivity and Boost Investment

The planned Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)-People’s Republic of China (PRC) expressway aims to improve the transport of goods and people, promote production, and boost commerce, investment, tourism and services, in line with the Government of Lao PDR's objectives. It spans 440 kilometers and comprises four sections in total. Section 1 running between Vientiane and Vangvieng, is already in use. 

GMS in the News

The use of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources continues to grow in the People’s Republic of China. Photo: Vista Wei

Accelerating clean energy transition in the People’s Republic of China

The move to clean energy and carbon neutrality in the People’s Republic of China will require conservation, conversion to new energy sources beyond coal and changing people’s energy consumption habits. 

ADB Blogs

Cambodian Mango Traders Receive Customs Approval to Export Directly to PRC

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has allowed Cambodia to export fresh mangoes directly to its market after the PRC’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) certified 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories as compliant with phytosanitary and packaging standards on 26 April. GACC experts from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held a virtual inspection of mango plantations and steam treatments plants on 10 March.  

GMS in the News

An aerial rendering of the SDZ. Photo by the Yunnan Provincial Overseas Investment Co. Ltd.

PRC, Lao PDR Jointly Developing a Low-carbon Demonstration Zone

The Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone (SDZ) is being developed into a low-carbon demonstration model by the Lao-China Joint Venture Investment Co., Ltd. (LCJV). Low carbon demonstration zones hope to address climate change and green and low-carbon transition, and boost regional cooperation with the PRC. 

GMS in the News