Goals set to in­vig­o­rate the growth of cen­tral provinces

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUE and HU YONGQI Con­tact the writ­ers at huy­ongqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China is­sued a five-year guide­line on in­vig­o­rat­ing devel­op­ment of its cen­tral re­gion, aim­ing to build it into a key area for ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, mod­ern agriculture, ur­ban­iza­tion and eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion.

The guide­line was ap­proved on Wed­nes­day at a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Premier Li Ke­qiang.

“Our strat­egy to boost west­ward growth has not changed. Yet, re­cently, there has been a di­ver­gence in devel­op­ment be­tween south­ern and north­ern China, and each of the six provinces in cen­tral China also has its own con­di­tion,” Li said. “It’s nec­es­sary to im­prove devel­op­ment across re­gions so that the cen­tral re­gion can truly play a sup­port­ing role in China’s econ­omy.”

The six provinces in cen­tral China — He­nan, Shanxi, Hubei, An­hui, Hu­nan and Jiangxi — have rich land and agriculture re­sources. The re­gion con­trib­utes 20.3 per­cent of China’s to­tal GDP, up from 18.8 per­cent in 2005.

20.3 per­cent

Amount the six provinces in cen­tral China con­trib­ute to the na­tion’s to­tal GDP, up from 18.8 per­cent in 2005

How­ever, amid the on­go­ing re­struc­tur­ing and in­dus­trial up­grad­ing, the re­gion faces chal­lenges in fur­ther re­tir­ing ex­cess in­dus­trial ca­pac­ity and re­duc­ing re­liance on la­bor and in­vest­ment, as well as in tech­no­log­i­cal innovation.

The new guide­line sets a goal that the six provinces will ac­count for a con­sid­er­able pro­por­tion of China’s pro­duc­tion out­put, while peo­ple’s liveli­hoods will be im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly.

The goals will be achieved through such mea­sures as op­ti­miz­ing the re­gional eco­nomic struc­ture, cre­at­ing new eco­nomic driv­ers, en­cour­ag­ing in­dus­trial up­grad­ing, im­prov­ing mod­ern trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture and strength­en­ing agriculture devel­op­ment.

“While build­ing it­self into a key area for ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and ur­ban­iza­tion, the re­gion should also spare no ef­forts in de­vel­op­ing mod­ern agriculture and pro­mot­ing agriculture man­age­ment of scale,” Li said.

“The re­gion should fully grasp its cur­rent vig­or­ous mo­men­tum of growth and take fur­ther steps in open­ing-up and ab­sorb more mod­ern in­dus­tries mov­ing west­ward from the east,” the premier added.

Huang Qun­hui, direc­tor of the In­sti­tute of In­dus­trial Eco­nom­ics at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences, said China is be­ing trans­formed from a low-end to a high­erend devel­op­ment model, and the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor is mov­ing from the coastal east to the cen­tral re­gion for lower costs and a large po­ten­tial mar­ket.

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