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Economic zone in N.W. China approved

By Wei Tian (

08:46, November 15, 2012

The State Council recently approved a development plan for an economic zone consisting of cities in three provinces in Northwest China to promote a sustainable economic boom in the area.

Major cities in the economic zone include Hohhot, Baotou and Ordos in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Yinchuan in Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Yulin in Shaanxi province, according to a statement on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The aggregate economic output of the economic zone will amount to 1.5 trillion yuan ($240.6 billion) in 2011, according to a calculation by China Business News.

The areas are rich in energy and other natural resources and are also an important ecological area so the development of an economic zone will help protect the country's energy and ecological security, according to the plan.

The development plan aims to build a national energy base as well as a water-saving society within the areas by 2020.

However, development of the region faces challenges such as an investment-driven growth model, GDP growing faster than residential income, a single industrial structure and damage to the environment, experts said.

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