Guangdong province may overtake South Korea to become the world’s 15th largest economy this year, China Business News reported Thursday, citing Xing Xiaowei, head of the provincial statistics bureau. Guangdong surpassed Singapore in 1998, Hong Kong in 2003 and Taiwan in 2007. South Korea’s economy is the 15th largest in the world. Last year, Guangdong’s gross domestic product grew 8.5 percent to 6.23 trillion yuan (US$1.03 trillion), making it the first mainland province to top US$1 trillion in GDP, the report said. However, with a population twice that of South Korea, Guangdong’s per-capita GDP is considerably lower. Also, South Korea has a number of mega companies whereas Guangdong is still a labor-intensive market, Hu Gang, professor of the School of Management of Jinan University, was quoted as saying.
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