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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the salient aspects of economic change in Guangdong Province against the background of the institutional and policy readjustments which have taken place in the past decade or so.

This is not actually the place to discuss whether given the present path of development, the province will really be able to emulate the success story of the four little dragons in the years to come.

In section 2, there is a brief discussion of the comparative economic importance of Guangdong within China and relative to the four little Dragons. Section 3 analyses the changing trends in GDP, both total and per capita, since 1978, compared with the growth experience of the country as a whole. Section 4 examines the impact of accelerated economic growth on the province’s income and employment structure by referring to the changing relative contributions of agriculture, industry and service sectors. Section 5 discusses the role played by investment and foreign capital in particular. Section 6 analyses the relative contribution of foreign trade to GDP growth. Section 7 evaluates how Guangdong has benefitted from the important Hong Kong connection in terms of both trade and investment relations. The paper is concluded with a brief evaluation of the prospects for the aspiring fifth little dragon.


CAPS Working Paper Series No.15 (8/94)

Recommended Citation

Kueh, Y. Y. (1994). The Fifth dragon : aspects of the economic take-off in Guangdong Province, China (CAPS Working Paper Series No.15). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: