Accelerated SEZ Development, 1983–1985
SEZ growth and expansion were driven by political forces. In 1982, local SEZ officials, especially Liang Xiang in Shenzhen, had consolidated their political positions and revealed their preferences for faster SEZ development. What many foreign investors, especially those from advanced industrial countries, wanted most dearly was access to China’s domestic market. The Chinese were well aware of these desires. Indeed, the idea of using zones for import substitution, which would allow foreign multinationals access to the domestic market, had been discussed in detail at the 1982 symposium in Shenzhe. In terms of recruitment, the new responsibility system would have factory managers elected from within the enterprise. This was first carried out in Shekou in the spring of 1983. It was believed that the competitive election of factory managers would increase productivity by bringing into management positions people of some entrepreneurial skill.