China Western Forum Opens

The 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.

The first Western Forum of China was held on October 20, 2000 at the Chengdu International Exhibition Center. Chinese officials at the ministerial level, presidents of some of the world's top 500 multinationals, UN officials and ambassadors to China attended the Forum. Senior Chinese leaders briefed on China's strategy, policies and plans to develop the western areas. Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs and theorists held discussions on 15 topics in this respect.

People's Daily Online ---