Guizhou Province

Key points

• The 10.5 per cent GDP growth of Guizhou Province ranked 2rd among all provinces in 2016. GDP growth has ranked in the top 3 over the last five consecutive years, although GDP per capita remains relatively low compared to other provinces. 

• Guizhou is known nationally for its mineral deposits and electricity generation, timber and forestry, large tobacco industry, herbs and traditional medicines, and alcohol. 

• Guizhou is making a strong effort to establish itself as a big data and cloud computing centre in China.

• Former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange was one of the first foreign Heads of Government to visit Guizhou, in 1986.  New Zealand and Guizhou have a warm history of agriculture development assistance.  There is interest in links with Māori business.

New Zealand-Guizhou links

New Zealand and Guizhou share a special relationship spanning several decades, built largely around practical agricultural and development cooperation. 

In 1986 former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange was one of the first foreign Prime Ministers to visit Guizhou, and he is still fondly remembered as one of the few foreign leaders to have visited the province.  Former New Zealand Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples led an official and Maori business delegation to Guizhou in February 2014.  There is interest in stronger links with New Zealand Māori business, particularly in the areas such as eco-tourism. 

The New Zealand government’s earliest contacts with former President Hu Jintao stemmed from his time as Party Secretary in Guizhou.

In August 1992 Guiyang city established a sister city relationship with Palmerston North.  Mayor Grant Smith visited Guiyang in September 2015 and July 2017.

The New Zealand Government has implemented a number of development assistance projects in Guizhou, with a focus on agriculture and rural livelihoods.  This has resulted in ongoing people-to-people linkages with New Zealand agricultural experts, including three experts being honoured with state-level China Friendship Awards for their work in rural development in Guizhou, with Dr Phil Rolston also being awarded the country’s highest foreign research award (the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award), one of less than 100 foreigners to receive this honour.

Guizhou communities have been the recipient of small projects funds managed through the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.

New Zealand’s long-term development cooperation relationship with Guizhou is now evolving into a commercial partnership, with scope for New Zealand commercial involvement and investment in Guizhou.  Current New Zealand companies with interests in Guizhou span a range of sectors, including: agri-business, helicopter training and services, 3D animation and fertiliser ingredients.  

Some New Zealand universities have institutional partnerships with Guizhou counterparts, including Massey and Lincoln Universities.  Guizhou has access to the New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) which allow for up to 10 Chinese students at any given time to undertake postgraduate study in New Zealand in developmentally relevant areas of study. One theme is sustainable rural livelihoods, which is particularly relevant to Guizhou.  

In April 2015, New Zealand Consul-General Alistair Crozier led a business delegation to Guizhou with officials from the New Zealand Embassy, Beijing and the New Zealand Consulate-General in Guangzhou, along with business representatives from a range of agriculture, dairy, and health sectors.


Quick facts (2016)
Guizhou Province

Guizhou Province

Capital City: Guiyang

Population: 35.55 million

Ethnicity: 62% Han Chinese, also Miao, Buyei, Dong, Tujia, Yi, others.

Land area: 176,000 km²

Total GDP: 1.17 trillion RMB (NZ$237.06 billion)

GDP growth: 10.5%

Per capita GDP: 33,127 RMB (NZ$6,692)

CPI growth: 1.4%

Guizhou Province is located in the eastern Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China. It adjoins Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality to the north, Yunnan Province to the west, Guangxi Province to the south and Hunan Province to the east. Overall Guizhou is a mountainous province however it is hillier in the west while the eastern and southern portions are relatively flat. The Province consists of nine prefecture-level divisions: six prefecture-level cities and three autonomous prefectures.

More than one third of Guizhou people are ethnic minorities, with 18 different ethnic groups in total.  After the dominant Han Chinese, the largest groups are Miao (12 Per cent) and Buyei (8 Per cent).  It is also the home of the well-known Chinese liquor Moutai. Guizhou cuisine is spicy but distinct from Sichuan cuisine.

Guizhou has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (South China Karst and China Danxia).  Guizhou does not get unbearably hot in the summer or extremely cold in winter. It is a popular summer resort in China. Many places of interest are well-known at home and abroad, such as Huangguoshu Waterfall, Zhijin Cave, Libo Small Seven Holes and Chishui Danxia.


The GDP growth of Guizhou Province was 10.5 per cent in 2016 – the second highest provincial growth in China. However this is in the context of a relatively low per capita GDP when compared to more developed provinces. 

Although the economy is relatively undeveloped, the province has strong environmental and agricultural resources.  Natural industries include timber and forestry. Guizhou is also the third largest producer of tobacco in China, and is home to the well-known Guizhou Tobacco brand.  The local market also sees potential for further development of organic foods and biological drugs. 

Guizhou is one of China's four major regions for the production of traditional Chinese herbs and traditional medicines.  Traditional local medicine, especially ethnic Miao medicine, has achieved nationwide recognition.  Future plans involve building a modern Chinese medicine industrial park in the Guiyang National Hi-Tech Development Zone that will integrate Chinese medicine processing and manufacturing.

Guizhou is one of the most resource-rich provinces in the country: A total of 127 kinds of minerals have been found.  Reserves of bauxite, phosphorus ore, manganese ore, antimony ore and gold ore in Guizhou all rank third or fourth in China; and reserves of barite and rare earth ores rank first and second.  Other minerals are limestone, arsenic, gypsum and oil shale.

Liupanshui city of Guizhou Province is known as the coal city in the south region of the Yangtze River. Guizhou has become an important base for the national East-West electricity transmission project.  A lot of its electricity is exported to Guangdong and other provinces. 

Guizhou is an important industrial base of the aviation, aerospace and electronics industries in China. There is an established machinery manufacturing industry. It also has development potential in optical instruments and precise machine tools. Notably the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope, is located in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province.

Gui'an New District, located at the juncture of Guiyang and Anshun, is one of the youngest “new districts” in China at the State level. It has adopted new policies incentives on finance and taxation, land, investment, talent and science in order to develop a local ‘big data’ industry. The air quality, cool weather conditions and stable geological structures is reported to create a good environment for information equipment.

In 2013, the provincial government issued a plan to speed up the development of the big data industry in an effort to build up "seven cloud projects" serving governments, the public and companies. The "seven cloud projects" include e-government systems, intelligent transportation, logistics, tourism, industrial cloud computing, e-commerce and food security. The nation's top three telecom giants - China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile - are building cloud computing facilities in the Gui'an New District with a cumulative investment so far exceeding 15 billion RMB. Foxconn and Alibaba are also notable companies that have established a strategic presence in the province in the big data and cloud computing sectors.