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Comparative study on foreign trade development patterns of the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta

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Based on a massive collection of data, this paper tries to make a detailed comparison between the foreign trade development patterns of two export-oriented regional economies: the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta. It is shown that both of the deltas have made spectacular progress in foreign trade development. However, the Yangtze River Delta is catching up with the Pearl River Delta, and China’s foreign trade development pattern has changed in recent years from a Pearl River Delta-dominated foreign trade environment to a situation in which the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta together dominate China’s foreign trade. The primary difference in the foreign trade development patterns of these two deltas is that foreign trade in the Pearl River Delta relies more on processing trade, while that in the Yangtze River Delta is more government-oriented with special political zones playing a significant role in its foreign trade.


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