Caixin OnlineOpinionMagazine Columnist谢国忠 Andy Xie Future Growth? The Answer Is Megacities
12.06.2012 16:35

Future Growth? The Answer Is Megacities

Urbanization is often cited as the force that will drive China's economy, but turning big cities into bigger, more productive ones would be even better
By Andy Xie

The economic slowdown has led to a search for growth opportunities. Urbanization is being raised as a possibility for China's economy. It could be but not in the context being discussed. The country's growth in the future depends on raising productivity. Urbanization, if structured efficiently, could help in that regard.

Urbanization as an untapped resource is not available. When one travels through the countryside, it is apparent that old folks and children dominate. There isn't a big and untapped source of workers in their prime available for migration. The maximum source of labor available for migration is the children growing up to join their parents who already work in cities. It may add 1.5 percent to the existing urban population, similar to the natural growth rate in many countries and hardly a torrent requiring massive resources for building new cities and expanding existing ones.

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