Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged the Yangtze River Delta to take a leadership role in economic development and intensify work in innovation, sustainable development and international competitiveness.
Presiding over a conference on economic and social development in the Yangtze River Delta in China's economic hub of Shanghai, Wen said on Thursday that the region has obvious economic advantages and has played a crucial role in the country's modernization.
The central government attaches great importance to this region and its fast development has strategic meaning for the country, Wen stressed.
The region has made a remarkable contribution to China's economic strength, supported the development of middle- and west China, promoted national development, and improved China's economic competitiveness and risk-control abilities, he pointed out.
Taking the lead in scientific development will also set a good example for the rest of the country, he said.
Wen listed seven priorities for the next stage of development in the region:
-- Upgrade and optimize industrial structures
-- Promote education and encourage innovation
-- Integrate major regional infrastructure projects
-- Balance the development of urban and rural areas
-- Optimize urban planning
-- Attach importance to harmony
-- Promote reform and opening-up to the outside world
The Yangtze River Delta, which covers Shanghai, Jiangsu province and Zhejiang province, is one of China's key economic engines.