Gordon Orr writes:
As the province becomes less central to Chinese exports, foreign investments have started to decline. Foreign direct investment in Guangdong grew by 24% a year in the 1990s, but rose by only 5% annually thereafter, compared to China's 10% a year.
Guangdong will need highly trained workers to cater to more advanced sectors. But it doesn't seem to have people with those skills. Only 9% of Guangdong's population — a smaller proportion than the national average of 10% — has a college degree. There aren't enough people in Guangdong who can work in the industries that the government has prioritized, such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech, and renewable energy.
Moreover, the proportion of people under the age of 15 in Guangdong has fallen to 17% compared to 25% in 2000. That means there will be fewer young people entering the workforce in the next 10 years. The government will have to turn older workers into lower-skilled service providers, which will require a lot of retraining. Besides, older workers are harder to retrain and retain.