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In the past thirty years, China has achieved phenomenal economic growth, an unprecedented development “miracle” in human history. How did China achieve this rapid growth? What have been its key drivers? And, most important, what can be learned from China’s success? Policy makers, business people, and scholars all over the world continue to debate these topics, but one thing is clear: the numerous special economic zones and industrial clusters that emerged after the country’s reforms are without doubt two important engines of China’s remarkable development.
This study briefly summarizes the development experiences of China’s special economic zones and industrial clusters (their formation, success factors, challenges, and possible areas or measures for policy intervention), based on case studies, interviews, field visits, and extensive reviews of the existing literature in an attempt to benefit other developing countries as well as the broader development community.