Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, October 10, 2003

Rust belt aims to generate one-tenth of GNP before 2020

The northeastern province of Liaoning has set a goal to fully revive its outdated traditional industries between 2010 and 2020.


The northeastern province of Liaoning has set a goal to fully revive its outdated traditional industries between 2010 and 2020.

The plans cover reform and modernization of state-owned enterprises, development of competitive high-tech pillar industries, improvement of the social security system and job creation.

The province aims to become a leading economic center of China, with the aim of contributing 10 percent of the gross national product.

The move follows a decision by the Chinese government in early September to turn the outdated industrial bases in the northeast into new and essential growth areas of the national economy.

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Monday called for accelerated efforts to revitalize the old northeast industrial base, calling it a long-term and arduous task.

Liaoning Province will also step up infrastructure construction and government reforms in the coming years, said Lu Song, vice director of the development research center of the provincial government.

Comprising the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, the northeast region, known as the "industrial cradle of China", played a vital role in the country's industrial development from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

The northeast region, which produced the country's first steel, machine tools, locomotives and planes after the founding of New China in 1949, still has potential in these fields.

However, many of the traditional industrial firms established in the 1950s when China adopted a planned economic system, have become less competitive since the country implemented the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, and moved toward a market economy two decades ago.

The proportion of the region's industrial output value to the national total has dropped to nine percent from 17 percent. Some loss-making state industries were closed, laying off large numbers of workers.

To fully rejuvenate the declining industrial base, departments of the State Council and the governments of the three northeastern provinces are working on plans to restructure traditional industries.

Liaoning Province will gradually withdraw state enterprises from competitive sectors and fields, giving way to the development of private businesses.

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