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According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first half of 2013 was US trillion, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%.
Another major economic turning point was China’s 2001 acceptance into the World Trade Organization, which removed trade barriers and created a larger market for Chinese goods. Since 1953, the government has issued a series of five-year plans outlining economic and social strategies.
Many Hong Kong–based businesses set up facilities in mainland China, some right across the border in Shenzhen, to capitalize on less-expensive labor (figure 5). Hong Kong–based businesses have helped turn the Guangdong province into a major global manufacturing center.
This jewelry factory uses modern manufacturing techniques such as wax models and casting. The advantage of combining low-cost labor and free trade was heightened by the formation of special economic zones (SEZs) in mainland China shortly after the country opened up for trade in 1978.
While rising costs of labor in China have created challenges for the manufacturing sector, this has led to greater domestic consumption of luxury products, including jewelry.
The highest growth potential lies in the inland urban centers, as Chinese citizens continue a massive migration from rural areas to the cities.