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|Tuesday, September 04, 2001, updated at 14:48(GMT+8)|
GDP Growth Tops 8.5 Percent in Western Region in First Half
According to Deputy-Director Li Zibin of the Office of the Leading Group under the State Council for Development of the Western Region, investment in fixed assets in the 12 provinces, autonomous regions and municipality of the region increased by 15 percent last year and 29.3 percent in the first half of this year. The figures are above the national average, Li said in a recent interview.
Into the infrastructure construction sector of the western region, the government funneled over 70 billion yuan, including 43 billion yuan of treasury bonds, last year.
Meanwhile, the construction of some ten large-scale projects got underway in 2000, involving a total investment of 100 billion yuan.
This year, the government plans to support the development of the west region with another 50 billion yuan of treasury bonds and open up 12 key projects with an accumulated input of 300 billion yuan.
According to Li, by the end of this May, 920,000 ha of cultivated land had been returned to forest and grassland in addition to another 680,000 ha of newly grown vegetation.
Also last year, more than 360 enterprises went bankrupt or underwent acquisition through economic structural adjustment. In addition, some 43 billion yuan was directed to some 185 projects to support their technical innovation.
Scientific, technological, and educational assistance has also been emphasized as a series of demonstration hi-tech projects have been set up, infrastructure construction of western universities supported and a group professional training centers established.
Referring to the coming China Western Forum, slated for September 4-6 in Xi'an, Li said that he believed the event, which will focus on the investment environment and the opening up of China's western region, will further stimulate the development of the region.
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