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Monday May 27, 2024

Shenzhen’s GDP surpasses 3tr CNY, showcasing China’s economic resilience

By Mian Saifur Rehman
June 09, 2023

While the world of today is confronted with numerous, formidable challenges like interoperability, sustainability and recession, China continues to thrive steadfastly, as can be evidenced from the fact that the GDP of just one city of China, Shenzhen, stood at CNY or RMB (Chinese currency Yuan or Renminbi) 3,238.768 billion or 3.2387 trillion CNY in 2022, equivalent to PKR (Pak Rupees) 130.433 trillion with China’s State Grid Electricity Corporation being rated as the largest utility company in the world, falling in the category of the world’s three largest companies in terms of revenues, including Walmart and Amazon, employing more than 1.5 million employees.

And, as regards China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) that is engaged in the construction of CPEC projects and that undertook the Matiari-Lahore ±660 High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission Line Project with a length of 886 KM in Pakistan and PKM (Sukkur-Multan Section), it ranked 9th in the ‘Fortune Global 500 in 2022 as it is the world's largest investment and construction group with world's highest credit rating in the industry.

These mind-boggling figures about China’s overall and its companies’ tremendous rise came to the fore during a Pakistani journalists’ delegation’s recent visit to China organized by China’s Consul General in Lahore, Mr Zhao Shiren as well as through subsequent communication between ‘The News’ and ‘China Economic Net’, the host of this tour.

It was during this visit that the comparison between the regional countries’ overall GDP and that of one city of China, was shared by a senior diplomat on the condition of anonymity who said that the growth of other countries of the region stood dwarfed before the GDP of the village-turned-economic hub namely Shenzhen. “The GDP of this one city is more than the GDP of some countries of the region” according to the diplomat. Subsequently, the head of the delegation of the Chinese host organization, Ms Meng Fan Rong, from ‘China Economic Net’ also confirmed to ‘The News’ that the total GDP of Shenzhen was reported at 3,238.768 billion RMB or CNY in 2022. Of course, it symbolizes phenomenal economic growth of Chinese entities that now happen to be big employers and users of human resources and whose potential to take over the world economy is growing day by day with the discovery and addition of newer and newer technologies relying considerably on AI (Artificial Intelligence). As for the aforementioned figures in RMB and Pak Rupees, they have been converted, using OANDA Currency Converter (dated June 5, 2023), which is a reputable platform for currency conversion, offering real-time exchange rates for multiple currencies including RMB.

While there are many huge and thriving industrial entities in Beijing and Shenzhen, the delegates’ visit to two companies, BYD and Huawei, revealed amazing figures of progress and prosperity. Both these companies invest so heavily on R & D (Research & Development) that, according to Chinese officials, investment by these companies exceeds the investment made in this area by many huge industrial concerns of the world.As per the 2022 Annual Report released on March 31, 2023 by the leading technology company of Huawei, the company achieved an impressive revenue of CNY 0.6423 trillion, equivalent to PKR 25.867 trillion. Huawei's net profits amounted to CNY 0.0356 trillion, which is approximately equivalent to PKR 1.4337 trillion.

According to Huawei's officials, the company’s commitment to innovation is evident in its substantial investment in research and development (R&D). In 2022 alone, the company allocated CNY 0.161 trillion or PKR 6.48387 trillion towards R&D efforts. This represents 25.1% of Huawei's annual revenue and brings its total R&D expenditure over the past decade to over CNY 0.9773 trillion or PKR 39.358 trillion. The most amazing information shared by Huawei officials was that China was now poised to attain 6 G, 7 G or even yet higher grades of internet connectivity.

Similarly, the BYD Company, that manufactures electric automobiles and is engaged in rail transit, new energy, and electronics sectors, achieved remarkable results in 2022. With revenue of CNY 0.4241 trillion or PKR 17.0796 trillion, an increase of 96.2% year-on-year, BYD further solidified its position as a Fortune 500 company and it is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges. BYD officials further disclosed to the delegates that its electric vehicles’ production, has surpassed the production of another globally famous American automotive and clean energy company, Tesla : in May 2023, 240,200 new energy vehicles were sold, setting a new monthly sales record, and the monthly sales volume exceeded 200,000 for three consecutive months this year.

As of now, BYD employs more than 600,000 people. The company also applied for 40 thousand patents and was granted 28,000 patents worldwide. BYD claims that it shoulders the responsibility and mission of the time as it has paved a green innovation and development road.

China Economic Net also informed The News, answering this scribe’s question that PKM (Sukkur-Multan Section) is the highest design grade motorway built on Chinese SBS modified asphalt technology and it is also the only motorway in Pakistan with trees along the entire road and can resist once-in-a-century floods besides protecting the ecology, forming a 392-km green gallery.The spirit behind this phenomenal growth is, for sure, this philosophy: “Rise to the challenge and take the lead by befriending and harnessing Nature as well as tremendous human potential”.

This was not only the philosophy or slogan of an economic giant of China, China Construction Company, but it is also the collective observation of Pakistani delegation that visited Beijing and industrial marvel of the world, the city of Shenzhen, and appreciated the marvellous progress made by Chinese people by dint of hard work, intelligent application of mind and discipline that simply presses upon ‘work, work and work’ without idle idealism that is usually devoid of a ‘backup or work-force mobilization’ strategy. Above all, the lesson learnt from this visit was that humans possess the capacity, the capability and the courage to befriend - or harness - Nature and salvage the human fraternity out of despondency and impoverishment.

And the axis- or perhaps the underlying success factor- of the Chinese model of governance and global connectivity is the Chinese leadership's in general and President Xi Jinping's vision of shared prosperity, in particular.