Two Dragon Heads : Contrasting Development Paths for Beijing and Shanghai
In broad terms, the sources of economic growth are well understood, but relatively few countries have succeeded in effectively harnessing this knowledge for policy purposes so as to sustain high rates of growth over an extended period of time. Among the ones that have done so, China stands out. Its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, which averaged almost 10 percent between 1978 and 2008, is unmatched. Even more remarkable is the performance of China's three leading industrial regions: the Bohai region, the Pearl River Delta, and the Yangtze River (Changjiang) delta area. These regions have averaged growth rates well above 11 percent since 1985. Shanghai is the urban axis of the Yangtze River Delta's thriving economy; Beijing is the hinge of the Bohai region. Their performance and that of a handful of other urban regions will determine China's economic fortunes and innovativeness in the coming decades. The balance of this volume is divided into five chapters. Chapter two encapsulates the sources of China's growth and the current and future role of urban regions in China. The case for the continuing substantial presence of manufacturing industry for growth and innovation in the two urban centers is made in chapter three. Chapter four briefly examines the economic transformation of four global cities and distills stylized trends that can inform future development in Beijing and Shanghai. Chapter five describes the industrial structure of the two cities, identifies promising industrial areas, and analyzes the resource base that would underpin growth fueled by innovation. Finally, chapter six suggests how strategy could be reoriented on the basis of the lessons delineated in chapter four and the economic capabilities presented in chapter five.
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