A 2022 study by the World Bank covering four decades of the evolution of Chinese ports contains some interesting insights into the importance of ports for economic development. These include that port development must not end at the port gate, that it should be based on a careful balance between central co-ordination and local initiative, and that piloting reforms has great value. 

The study makes clear, though, that China is unique. First, it has an extensive coastline, which encourages a high degree of competition among the ports. This stimulated reform and investment. Second, China has “a unique administrative model”.   ..

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