Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China to expand cooperation with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), develop economy and improve people's living standard.
The premier made the remarks during a recent two-day inspection tour of Guangxi ahead of the opening of the China-ASEAN Business and Investment summit, which kicked off here on Tuesday.
During the inspection tour, Wen visited Liangmianzhen Co. Ltd, a name brand toothpaste producer, Liuzhou Tech Machinery Co. Ltd and Wuling Motors Co. Ltd in Liuzhou, Guangxi's largest industrial city, and held talks with enterprise officials and workers.
He urged these companies to explore development potential, grasp opportunities and step up development of industries with unique advantages by taking the region's rich natural resources.
He also visited two villages and inquired about farmers rice production, revenues, medical care and the implementation of seeds and farm tool subsidies, stressing that the construction of new socialist countryside should respect farmers will.
The input in rural areas should be increased and efforts should focus on developing roads, water, electricity, telecommunications and other infrastructure facilities so as to lay a foundation for rural development and improving farmers life, he noted.
As for the serious drought problem complained by villagers, Wen called on governments at various levels to build an irrigation system and improve water conservancy facilities in a bid to upgrade drought-fighting ability.
Guangxi, with a population of over 46 million, is home to more than 15 million Zhuang minority people.