The Pearl River Delta (PRD) region in southern Guangdong province has proven to be remarkably resilient in its economic development in the last few decades. In the early reform years of 1980s, the region transformed itself from a largely rural and sparsely populated area into a global production base of labour intensive products. In the 2000s, it moved to producing higher-‑valued items but faced problems such as rising labour costs and industry‑related environmental degradation. During the global financial crisis of 2008-‑2009, the region was hit even harder, with shrinking external demand for its exports.
Just when some critics were casting doubts on its future, the region is making a strong comeback. Backed by the central government, the PRD is investing heavily in modern infrastructure as well as in advanced industries based on Germany’s Industry 4.0 plan. It aims to make the PRD one of the most advanced industrial regions in the world and to be a metropolitan region the equal of London, Paris or Tokyo. ... More