Heilongjiang industrial growth powers Q1 record

09:09, June 07, 2010      

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Heilongjiang province in northeast China flourished as a center of heavy industry more than half a century ago. It would later become the nation's "rust belt' with aging, unproductive factories, inefficient management and high levels of unemployment.

Yet today it is resurging. Since 2002 the province has maintained double-digit growth for eight consecutive years. In 2009, its GDP reached 828.8 billion yuan, growing 11.1 percent over the previous year, some 2.4 percentage points higher than the national average

This year it continued to show strong growth of 12.8 percent in the first quarter.

According to the provincial statistics bureau, Heilongjiang's GDP in the first three months reached 186 billion yuan, the best first quarter performance since 1992 when quarterly GDP figures were first released publicly.

The figure is 30.3 billion yuan higher than the first quarter of 2008 and 1.2 percentage points more than the previous record set in the first three months of 2007.

The major contributor to record quarterly performance was the manufacturing industry, which increased output by 13 percent to 87.55 billion yuan.

Manufacturing operations not only grew, but were also more efficient, registering pre-tax profits of 45.95 billion yuan, an unexpected growth of 98.2 percent over the first quarter of 2009.

The province's four pillar industries - equipment production, petrochemicals, energy and food processing - continue to be the engines driving the province's economy,

Combined business revenues of the four sectors reached 171.47 billion yuan, an increase of 43.3 percent over the same period of 2009. Their total net profits were 21.89 billion yuan, up 109.9 percent.

The Heilongjiang Committee of Industry and Information Technology - the province's industrial regulator - said the upward growth will be further consolidated in the second quarter as a result of the nation's continuing stimulus policies and the province's own initiatives.

The committee further predicted that the industrial output value of the manufacturing sector for the whole year would increase by 445 billion yuan, 14.6 percent more than last year.

The province's own stimulus initiatives include support to emerging industries such as new materials, energy conservation and environmental technologies, biologics and information, according to information released by the committee.

As well, the province has offered financial aid for technological upgrades for traditional industries like petrochemicals, energy and metallurgy; as well as encouragement of private investment in almost every possible industry.

Echoing to the central government's latest policy to support private businesses, Heilongjiang also plans supports that including loan guarantees and funding for R&D.

Industrial strength

Since the founding of the New China in 1949, Heilongjiang has produced two-fifths of the nation's crude oil, half of its railway freight cars, one-third of timber, one-tenth of its coal and one-seventh of grain produced. The province has also made large quantities of heavy civil and military equipment for the nation.

In the last two decades of the past century, Heilongjiang's industries began to fail due to outdated management and technologies as well as the planned economic model already discarded by the fast-growing coastal regions.

Its industries have been given new vigor since the central government implemented new policies and incentives at the turn of the century.

Source: China Daily


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