Dongguan in South China’s Guangdong province is a busy port on the Pearl River. [Photo provided to]

Guangdong has ranked 13th in the world by GDP if taken as an economic body, a position which surpasses that of Australia, the Securities Times said in its provincial GDP ranking for 2020 on Monday.

With a breakthrough over the 11 trillion yuan ($1.71 trillion) threshold, Guangdong has retained its place as the top province with the highest GDP in China for 32 years in a row.

Heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, China’s No 1 province for foreign trade has seen strong recovery momentum in exports since the second half, recording a total of 7.1 trillion yuan for cargo trade. Its industrial economy has also seen rapid improvement, with growth for seven consecutive months.

Calculated by the average exchange rate in 2020, Guangdong’s GDP was around $1.61 trillion. This figure exceeds the GDP of more than 90 percent of the world’s countries, and is close to that of South Korea, six times as much as that of Vietnam and equal to the sum of the GDPs of Switzerland, Singapore, Argentina and Ukraine.

In addition to Guangdong, the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang also ranked in top 20 if considered as economic bodies.