Shandong posts robust growth

(China Daily) 14:01, August 22, 2022

Fishermen in Shidao fishing port of Rongcheng, Weihai, Shandong province, are busy unloading fresh Spanish mackerel on Sept 12. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Province's efforts in improving people's lives, seeking quality development pay off

This summer, Zhang Guoliang and his family spent three days of their vacation in Weihai, a coastal city in Shandong province.

"We drove to the city to escape the heat, but what we experienced was much more than what we had expected," the 43-year-old Zhang said in an interview in Jining, a city in southwestern Shandong.

Driving along a highway that featured picturesque coastal and mountainous landscapes in Weihai, the Zhangs went fishing at a marine ranch, visited a tea farm, stayed in a seaweed-thatched house and enjoyed watching the starry sky on crystal clear nights.

"My son learned a lot about sea creatures, and he was impressed by the seaweed house, whose rooftop is piled-up with dried seaweed and layered with wheat straw," said Zhang, adding that they stayed one more day than they had planned.

The route the Zhangs drove along goes through urban areas and 400 villages. Connecting scenic spots, hotels, RV campsites, homestays and agricultural sightseeing areas, it integrated urban and rural areas, a symbol of the city's high-quality rural vitalization and urban development.

Local statistics showed the income of farmers in the villages along the route has grown year-on-year around 10 percent.

Over the past decade, Shandong has been following President Xi Jinping's instructions to seek high-quality development, prioritize the interests of the people and turn their wish for a good life into reality.

During Xi's visits to the province in recent years, he expressed the hope that Shandong would strive to take the lead in promoting its high-quality socioeconomic development.

The province has been making efforts to improve people's lives and to promote common prosperity, Li Ganjie, Party secretary of Shandong, said at a news conference on Saturday in the provincial capital of Jinan.

The per capita disposable income of Shandong residents increased at an average annual rate of 8.5 percent over the past decade. Comprehensive progress was made in the fields of employment, education, medical care and elderly care, said Li. The province has taken great strides in its all-around development, he added.

Shandong saw high-quality economic development the past 10 years, resulting in the province's gross domestic product hitting 8.3 trillion yuan ($1.2 trillion) in 2021.

The province has made a breakthrough in replacing old drivers of growth with new enterprises. It has upgraded its heavy industries and made efforts to promote innovative industries to drive its robust economic development.

The number of high-tech enterprises in Shandong surpassed 20,000 last year, seven times more than in 2012, Shandong Governor Zhou Naixiang said at the same news conference. High-quality development has also benefited the environment of the province.

In 2021, the density of PM 2.5-particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less-in the province fell by 15.2 percent year-on-year, Zhou said.

The average energy consumption per unit of GDP in Shandong has declined by 4.2 percent annually over the past 10 years as well, he added.

High-quality development has also attracted foreign investment to the province, contributing to the province's efforts in further opening up its economy.

Over the past 10 years, the total of Shandong's imports and exports nearly doubled from 1.5 trillion yuan to 2.9 trillion yuan, said Zhou. The total of imports and exports in the first seven months of the year saw a year-on-year increase of 18.8 percent.

The province has built several high-level platforms to promote opening-up.

At the recently concluded Qingdao Multinationals Summit, the province sealed foreign investment deals for 99 projects worth $15.6 billion with companies from 16 countries and regions.

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)


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