People’s Republic of China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)
|Population||48 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||466 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||9,700 (2017)|
|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.
While tightened control by Viet Nam and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in response to the COVID-19 epidemic may have slowed down customs procedures and trade, the two countries continue to work on easing import/export at the border through cooperation and discussions.
This report presents case studies of poverty reduction projects financed by the Asian Development Bank, including the Yunnan Integrated Road Network Development Project, which helped complete the national expressway system and constructed a highway from Kunming in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the Myanmar border.
Together We Deliver: Grants for a Brighter Future is a special edition of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) annual publication featuring stories of lives uplifted across Asia and the Pacific through grant financing by the Asian Development Fund (ADF). The ADF provides grants to support activities that reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in “ADF countries”—the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the region.
The People’s Republic of China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Thailand have agreed to build a railway bridge that will be part of a high-speed rail line connecting the three countries.
The People’s Republic of China launched last month a high-speed rail service between Yunnan province’s capital Kunming and Lijiang, a tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage site.
The People's Republic of China is shifting freight transport from roads to railways and waterways, and improving urban logistics systems to reduce carbon emissions.
For 25 years, six countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion have been promoting regional economic development. Upgrading cross-border transport networks is a key area of investment.