The Yangtze River Delta region has resumed most of its operations
thanks to its quick response and effective measures after the outbreak
of the novel coronavirus epidemic. In pursuing its ambitious plan to
become a world-class industrial cluster, the region will likely overcome
domestic and international economic challenges brought about by
COVID-19, said experts.
"The uncertainties of the pandemic for China and the global economy
will lead to the restructuring of existing global supply chains. This
makes it necessary for us to build a world-class industrial cluster of
our own," said Liu Zhibiao, head of the Yangtze Industrial Economic
Institute at Nanjing University.
Liu said the global supply chain is about to evolve in two
directions. One is the existing supply chain involving global
enterprises that will be reformed into different functional and
geographic units. The other involves concentration in one country or
among several neighboring nations.
"In either case, it is highly likely that multinational corporations
will form specialized industrial clusters in a comparatively smaller
area so as to maintain economic efficiency during the restructuring,"
During adjustments to the global industrial chain, Liu said it will
become more important than ever to build a domestic consumption-driven
industrial chain in China, as well as bring about enhanced technological
China has its own strengths. This is especially the case with regards
to its high-value labor resources, comparatively low land costs and
relatively fair business environment with the world's most complete
industrial categories, high efficiency, convenience and low cost supply
chain, said Song Liang, director of the technology innovation research
office at CCID Thinktank.
Considering the economic characteristics of various regions in China,
the Yangtze River Delta stands out with its strong industrial assets,
talent and technology, among other attributes, said Zuo Xuejin, a
researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
The Yangtze River Delta is one of the nation's most vibrant regions,
with a dynamic economy, high levels of openness and strong innovation
capabilities－all of which make for a high-quality development city
cluster, said Liu Mingyu, an associate professor at the school of
management, Fudan University.
Liu added that the region not only is home to advanced global
manufacturing and modern services, but also has strong support
industries and a complete supply chain.
The region consists of 26 cities from Shanghai municipality and
Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, covering merely 2.2 percent of
the nation's land area but contributing to one-fifth of the nation's
There are more than 300 universities and colleges, and nearly 300
national engineering research centers and labs in the region. Patents
registered within the region account for about 30 percent of China's
total, Song said.
"The city cluster of the Yangtze River Delta region forms a complete
industrial system, and the area has promised to become a premier
industrial cluster," Song added.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread worldwide, it adds to
the uncertainty of the global economy. Therefore, the establishment of a
world-class supply chain will stabilize the region's capability in
confronting economic unpredictability, Zuo said.
"Not only the Yangtze River Delta region, but all major Chinese
economic regions－including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay
Area, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Chengdu-Chongqing city
cluster－should take the opportunity from the restructuring of global
industrial chains. With that, we can expect strengthened industrial
competitiveness of the nation," said Nanjing University's Liu.