China’s Factories Turn to Yangtze River to Escape Higher Wages

Chinese industry is being driven inland along the country’s waterways, particularly the Yangtze, according to Bloomberg:

China’s manufacturers are moving factories inland to benefit from lower wages than coastal regions and government incentives to spur economic development. That is creating traffic jams on Asia’s longest river, prompting the nation’s biggest container terminal operators, Cosco Pacific Ltd. and China Merchants Holdings International Co., to invest in ports along the 6,300 kilometer-long (3,915 mile-long) Yangtze, which reaches Tibet ….

The Yangtze, the third-longest river in the world after the Amazon and Nile, handles 80 percent of China’s river freight. The waterway ferried 1.34 billion tons of cargo in 2009, more than triple the 400 million tons it carried in 2000, according to government data ….

River freight may triple to 6 billion tons by 2020, according to the city-backed Shanghai International Shipping Institute.

The rise of wages in China has prompted a flurry of speculation in recent months about its implications for the country’s social development and economic growth.


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