Visit of Vice-Governor of Guandong in DG REGIO
In the framework of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation launched on May 2012 in Brussels by President Barroso and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, a high-level delegation headed by Mr. Xu Rui Sheng, Vice-Governor of Guangdong (China) paid a visit to DG REGIO last 25 July and met Director General Walter Deffaa to discuss future cooperation on urban development.
Guangdong is the most populous region in China (105 million people) and one of the richest (the third highest GDP per capita among provinces). For the past 30 years Guangdong's GDP growth rate has averaged 15% a year. Provincial capital, Guangzhou (Canton) (12.7 million people) and economic hub, Shenzhen are two of the most populous and important cities in China. The region exports as much as South Korea. Politically and economically, Guangdong remains one of the most liberal Chinese provinces and one of the most innovative and most urbanized regions in China.
The two sides discussed issues relating to urban development in the European Union and in Guangdong: the promotion of better approaches to key areas such as integrated approach to development, the management of urbanization processes, developing rural and urban inter-relations, promoting sustainable urban development, protecting historical and cultural heritage and improved administrative capacities in urban planning.
Both sides agreed to strengthen the exchange of information on good practices on the topics below and to promote a more decentralized cooperation bringing city authorities in the EU and Guangdong together, exposing Guangdong cities to the EU's public and private providers of investment and services for economic development. At this respect, Guangdong will provide a list of challenges and particular areas for cooperation to be offered to new potential European partners.