Institution(s): Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, China Development Bank

Date: Dec 15, 2003 (Monday) to Dec 16, 2003 (Tuesday)

Time: 12:00 am - 08:00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, 8/F., Meng Wah Complex


After more than 20 years of economic reform, markets in China remain fragmented and regional disparity in economic development has become more pronounced. As transportation improves across regions, an important factor behind market fragmentation is local protectionism. Barriers to the trade of goods and services make it difficult to realize the gains from trade across regional boundaries and pose serious challenges to sustained economic growth in the country. Meanwhile, although the coastal regions have achieved rapid economic growth, resulting in significantly improved living standard, inland areas have lagged far behind, with growth rates much lower and the improvement in living standard much less significant. Such disparity threatens to destroy social and political stability, and has long-term strategic implications. Given the importance of these issues about China's economic geography and regional development, it is necessary to enhance our understanding of them and of related international experiences. This conference seeks to contribute to the endeavor.