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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Cities called key to growth

By Lan Lan and Wei Tian (China Daily)

11:54, March 18, 2012

BEIJING, Mar. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Urbanization will be a major feature of China's economic growth and continue to gain momentum, Liu He, Party chief of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said on Saturday.

At the China Development Forum 2012, economists said that China urgently needs to step up its economic restructuring, noting that urbanization and further reform of the nation's distribution system will speed up the process.

A slew of new central cities will gradually emerge in China's western areas, unleashing enormous potential for investment and consumption, Liu said.

The number of China's city dwellers surpassed its rural population for the first time in 2011. The urbanization rate is likely to increase from just above 50 to around 60 percent by 2020 and 65 percent by 2030, according to a study by the center.

Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the country's urbanization rate has much room to grow, especially in western areas. The average urban share in developed countries is 66 percent.

Driven by more cities and industrialization, the growth of the world's second-largest economy will continue but probably not as rapidly as in previous years, Ma said.

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