Prov­ince on the way to more bal­anced de­vel­op­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By ZHAN LISHENG zhan­lisheng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In a bid to bal­ance the eco­nomic growth in dif­fer­ent re­gions and cre­ate ad­van­tages for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment, Guang­dong prov­ince, in south China, has been ac­cel­er­at­ing the de­vel­op­ment of its in­fra­struc­ture, a key el­e­ment of which is in­vest­ment in new ex­press­ways.

Ac­cord­ing to a plan on the de­vel­op­ment of ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment re­leased ear­lier this year, Guang­dong plans to have about 6,800 kilo­me­ters of ex­press­ways by 2015 link­ing all the coun­ties in the prov­ince. The tar­get for 2017 is a to­tal length of 8,000 km.

The ex­press­ways will boost de­vel­op­ment in the east­ern, western and north­ern parts of the prov­ince, where the econ­omy still lags be­hind the Pearl River Delta re­gion, and will also link Guang­dong with neigh­bor­ing Fujian, Hu­nan, Jiangxi and Hainan prov­inces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

The prov­ince plans to in­vest 722.6 bil­lion yuan ($ 119 bil­lion) in 69 ex­press­way projects from 2013 to 2017, and it plans to dou­ble the num­ber of ex­press­ways to its neigh­bor­ing prov­inces to 24 from the cur­rent 12 by 2017, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port on the lo­cal news­pa­per Nan­fang Daily.

Top pro­vin­cial of­fi­cials hope the in­fra­struc­ture projects will en­dow Guang­dong with new ad­van­tages for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment and help the less-de­vel­oped parts of the prov­ince catch up so there is more bal­anced eco­nomic growth.

At a con­fer­ence on ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment projects in Guang­dong ear­lier this year, Hu Chun­hua, Party chief of the prov­ince, said that ac­cel­er­at­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, es­pe­cially traf­fic fa­cil­i­ties, is very sig­nif­i­cant for Guang­dong.

“Guang­dong needs to make greater progress to for­tify its lead­ing po­si­tion in China,” he said. “Step­ping up in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly trans­port, is a must so as to gain

Step­ping up in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly trans­port, is a must so as to gain new de­vel­op­ment ad­van­tages.” HU CHUN­HUA PARTY CHIEF OF GUANG­DONG

new de­vel­op­ment ad­van­tages.”

Yao Li, a scholar on mod­ern de­vel­op­ment strat­egy at Guang­dong’s academy of so­cial sciences, holds a sim­i­lar view.

“Com­pared with its boom­ing econ­omy, traf­fic in­fra­struc­ture in many re­gions in Guang­dong still has much room for im­prove­ment, es­pe­cially ex­press­ways link­ing it with the neigh­bor­ing prov­inces,” Yao said.

“Im­proved traf­fic in­fra­struc­ture will at least make it more con­ve­nient for the prov­ince to get raw ma­te­ri­als from else­where and trans­port fin­ished prod­ucts to other mar­kets,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhi Wenbo, an of­fi­cial in an in­dus­trial park in Yingde in north Guang­dong’s Qingyuan city, the lack of an ex­press­way has ham­pered lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“Peo­ple here have waited just too long for an ex­press­way. We all hope the Guangzhou-Lechang Ex­press­way now un­der con­struc­tion — which will pass Yingde — will be put into op­er­a­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Guang­dong plans to carry out 607 key in­fra­struc­ture projects in the 12th Five-Year Plan pe­riod (201115), with a to­tal in­vest­ment of 3.51 tril­lion yuan. Among th­ese, a to­tal of 460 projects with com­bined in­vest­ment of 1.41 tril­lion yuan are be­ing built be­tween 2013 and 2015.

They in­clude ex­press­ways, rail­ways, in­ter­city light rails, sub­ways, air­ports, sea and river ports, ur­ban fa­cil­i­ties, as well as projects re­lat­ing to en­ergy sup­ply, wa­ter con­ser­vancy and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Guang­dong will have about 6,800 kilo­me­ters of ex­press­ways by 2015, ac­cord­ing to its in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment plan.

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