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UPDATED: 10:17, September 16, 2004
Chinese urban population set to boom, expert prediction
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The Chinese urbanization rate will reach 58 to 60 percent in the year 2020, with an urban population of 800 to 900 million, Chinese experts forecast.

Lian Yuming, president of the Beijing International Institute for Urban Development, made the prediction at an ongoing summit for Chinese urban development.

According to the statistics offered by Lian, the Chinese urbanization rate grew to 37. 7 percent by the end of 2002, up one percent over the same time last year. This increase indicates that about 80 to 90 million farmers move to cities each year.

Lian suggested that China should promote development of the small and medium-size towns by boosting development of the metropolitans.

The international experience showed that the urbanization process would accelerate when the gross domestic product (GDP) exceeds 1,000 US dollars per capita. When the per capita GDP reaches 3,000 US dollars, the city where the GDP is generated will go on a fast track of growth and development, Lian said.

Lian also advised that China should further optimize the urban industrial structure, noting the industrial focus should transfer from the agriculture and industry to the service sector.

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