GUANGZHOU, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- South China's Guangdong Province, one of the country's economic powerhouses, estimated its GDP rose around 6.3 percent to surpass 10.5 trillion yuan (around 1.52 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2019.
Ma Xingrui, governor of the province, made the announcement Tuesday when delivering a government work report at the opening of the annual provincial legislative session.
Facing external uncertainties in 2019, Guangdong, a leading foreign trade player in the country, saw its imports and exports reach 7.14 trillion yuan, down 0.3 percent year on year, according to the report.
The province has adhered to steady growth and adopted response measures timely amid concerns about domestic mounting downward pressure, according to Ma.
It unveiled 32 measures to boost the high-quality development of foreign trade and explore international markets. Guangdong's trade volume with the European Union and ASEAN is expected to rise 10.7 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
It also accelerated the development of new forms of foreign trade. The cross-border e-commerce trade in Guangdong saw a year-on-year increase of 36.9 percent and a second-hand car export pilot was also launched in 2019.
Guangdong's actual use of foreign capital rose 3.5 percent to reach 150 billion yuan in 2019.
The per capita disposable income in the province saw an increase of 8.6 percent to 38,900 yuan last year. Guangdong also announced its 2020 growth target at around 6 percent.
The growth rate of 6.3 percent in 2019 was not slow and its GDP surpassing 10.5 trillion yuan will help shore up confidence, said Yin Tao, deputy director of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.
Yin attributed the sustained economic increase to the province's huge investment in independent innovation, the booming economy of the two major cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and successful industry transformation and upgrading in recent years.
It is estimated that its investment in research and development would surpass 280 billion yuan in 2019, accounting for 2.8 percent of the province's GDP.
INNOVATIVE, HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT
Guangdong has sought innovative and high-quality models to power economic growth in recent years.
In the past five years, more than 30,000 industrial companies have undergone technological reforms. In the first 10 months of 2019, authorities spent a staggering 307.6 billion yuan in the reforms, up 12.3 percent year on year, according to the provincial department of industry and information technology.
So far, about 6,000 companies have applied for industrial internet, and about 500,000 small and medium-sized companies are using cloud computing technology.
Meanwhile, high-quality and advanced manufacturing have also helped drive Guangdong's healthy economic growth, said Lin Jiang, an economics professor at Lingnan College under Sun Yat-sen University.
Guangdong also streamlined its business environment, which drew investment, technology and talents.
The province has also reformed 106 items concerning administrative approvals, significantly simplifying business procedures.
The measures partly contributed to its attraction for international businesses, with GE and BASF launching projects in Guangdong last year.
"Guangdong's vast market, good business environment and an open government are why BASF chose the province for the project," said Dr. Stephan Kothrade, president of Asia Pacific functions and president and chairman of Greater China at BASF.