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|Wednesday, September 05, 2001, updated at 10:01(GMT+8)|
China Western Forum OpensThe 2001 China Western Forum opened in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province Tuesday, providing participants an opportunity to have a look at China's policy on the development of its western region and the local situation.
State Councilor Ismail Amat, addressing a banquet marking the opening of the forum on behalf of the Chinese government, said China's western region would further improve its investment environment, continue its reform and opening up and strive for steady development.
The strategy of the Chinese government to develop the western region is of vital importance to the country's efforts to increase domestic demand, adjust the economic structure, narrow the gap between various regions and promote an overall social and economic development nationwide.
Under the support from people of all nationalities throughout the country, the western region has, over the past more than one year, registered a good start in both economic and social development, he said, expressing strong confidence in future prospects.
He pointed out the next five to ten years is a key period for the development of both the west and the entire nation. The central government has, in its 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005), set out major development targets for the western region, which is expected to witness dramatic changes in all aspects of social and economic life.
The forum was jointly organized by the Office of the Leading Group for Western Region Development and the Information Office of the State Council, the State Development and Planning Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Shaanxi Provincial People's Government.
The forum has attracted more than 600 Chinese and overseas participants, including high-ranking government officials, business magnates from Fortune 500 companies, foreign envoys, leaders of major Chinese enterprises, and economists.
The first forum on developing China's western region was held in May last year in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province in southwest China.
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