People’s Republic of China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)
Guangxi and Yunnan are important "gateways" for trade between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the rest of the GMS. Development has been slow compared with most provinces in the PRC. However, on the back of the country’s impressive economic performance in recent decades, both Guangxi and Yunnan have benefited from improved infrastructure and social services. The PRC is looking to further build on their strategic location by making large transport investments aimed at strengthening connectivity with other GMS countries. It is also actively promoting increased GMS cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, the environment, human resource development, and health.
|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)|
Although much of the rugged land in Guangxi and Yunnan cannot be farmed, agriculture is still the livelihood mainstay for millions of rural people. Yunnan has a sizable portion of the PRC’s rubber trees, and the province is famous for its tea. Guangxi produces a large sugarcane crop and grows many varieties of fruit. Moreover, each has a wide range of agricultural products found nowhere else, including medicinal plants. Guangxi and Yunnan are both looking to further leverage their positions as “gateways” for agricultural trade between the GMS and the rest of the PRC. They are working to increase agribusiness investments throughout the subregion.
The PRC has the largest power system in the world and is the leading producer of electricity from renewable sources. Yunnan Province has become an important source of clean energy for the country, as well as a hub for the transregional oil and gas. Both Guangxi and Yunnan have extensive hydropower resources, and they are engaged in power-trade and interconnection projects with neighboring countries such as the Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.
Guangxi and Yunnan boast some of the most varied landscapes in the subregion, including glacial mountains and large limestone karst formations. They are both home to a high proportion of the PRC’s animal and plant species, many of which are endemic. Guangxi and Yunnan have both made great strides toward establishing biodiversity corridors to engender forest connectivity among protected areas. In fact, the PRC is a GMS leader in promoting transboundary collaboration between countries on biodiversity conservation along borders.
The PRC’s investments in human resource development are helping to modernize and diversify the economies of Guangxi and Yunnan. Technical and vocational education and training have been priorities, with a particular emphasis on rural and ethnic-minority populations. The PRC is a leader in GMS cooperation on education, each year providing thousands of scholarships for students from across the subregion, many of whom attend universities in Guangxi and Yunnan. It also actively promotes cooperation on health issues, with a focus on border areas. Further, the PRC is looking to strengthen existing partnerships with its GMS neighbors on health security, health training, research, information sharing, and disease management.
ICT is supporting socioeconomic development in the PRC. The expansion of internet and other ICT services is enabling thousands of rural communities to overcome geographic isolation and to access new economic and educational opportunities. ICT is also playing a key role in strengthening Guangxi and Yunnan as the PRC’s trade “gateways” to the other GMS countries. New e-commerce platforms and zones have been created to boost cross-border trade. The PRC also actively supports the GMS E-Commerce Business Alliance.
With towering glacial mountains, unique limestone karst formations, and pristine forests abundant in wildlife, Guangxi and Yunnan attract huge numbers of domestic tourists each year. Many visitors come to enjoy the local culture, especially in Yunnan, which is the PRC’s most ethnically diverse province. The PRC is looking to attract more international visitors by improving destination marketing and tourism services.
Since the 1990s, transport infrastructure has been a priority investment area for the PRC. Both Guangxi and Yunnan now have well-developed road and railway networks. Today, paved roads connect the vast majority of remote communities, helping to provide economic opportunities for rural families. The PRC is actively collaborating with its GMS partners to strengthen subregional railway and road linkages, with major investments planned for new GMS transport infrastructure.
Guangxi and Yunnan are trade “gateways” connecting the PRC to the GMS countries and other Southeast Asian countries. Major exports include electrical machinery and agricultural products such as rubber and sugar. The PRC and Viet Nam have already initiated cross-border trac rights for trucks and buses, and are now working together to develop more ecient inspection and quarantine procedures. Eorts are also under way to improve the customs and transport processes at land ports on the borders with the Lao PDR and Myanmar.
In addition to the provincial capitals of Nanning and Kunming, both Guangxi and Yunnan have large secondary cities. Since the turn of the century, major investments in urban transport and housing have improved commerce and the quality of life in many locales. Today, urban development is intensifying in secondary cities and towns located along the economic corridors. Both Guangxi and Yunnan are diligently working to create better urban solid waste, wastewater, and flood-control facilities, and to manage their air pollution. The PRC is also actively sharing its urban development expertise and experience with the other GMS countries.
GMS Program Officials and Contacts in the PRC
- LU Jin (Mr)
Deputy Director General
Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation
Ministry of Finance
- ZHAN Shu (Mr)
Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation
Ministry of Finance
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $140 million loan to improve the environmental and economic conditions in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.
“Rapid urbanization has become a threat to Guilin's natural resources and sustainable development,” said ADB Senior Transport Specialist for East Asia Nicolas Dei Castelli. “This project will include a number of innovative solutions with demonstration potential, including low-carbon mobility, inclusive sanitation, and institutional development.”
A freight transit yard where cargo is transferred for transshipment has been put into operation by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) Railway on 1 July 2022 at the Vientiane South Station. The freight yard promises to boost the PRC-Lao PDR railway’s logistics, improving the link between the railways of PRC-Lao PDR and Thailand.
The People’s Republic of China and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have successfully conducted two-way transmission of electricity on 20 June 2022, marking a milestone in their energy trade. The Nam Tha 1 Hydropower Station, Lao PDR, sent electricity to Yunnan province, PRC.
China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Electricite du Laos (EDL) signed a 115 kV power trade agreement in March 2022 to help consume Lao PDR’s surplus hydropower during the rainy season. During the dry season, CSG will export power supply to northern Lao PDR.
The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has opened seven highway ports and one railway port for cross-border cargo with normalized customs clearance processes. Statistics from the GZAR’s Department of Commerce reported that 3,344 vehicles entered and exited through Guangxi’s border highway ports during the May Day holiday in 2022. The May Day holiday is one of the peak travel times in the country.
The 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers held on 19 January 2022 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, exchanged views on the way forward for the recovery of the region’s tourism industry. Bearing the theme “ASEAN – A Community of Peace and Shared Future,” the Meeting discussed the impact of COVID-19 on each ASEAN member state and emphasized the development of the tourism sector amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Decline in Tourist Growth
Thailand will accelerate its railway connectivity, in line with the opening of the railway link between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in December 2021.
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.
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.
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.