Hubei achieves impressive economic growth by j73na6ddmd7f


									                                                                                                                                                         CHINA DAILY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TUESDAY MAY 17, 2005

Hubei achieves impressive economic growth
Comprehensive reform launched to                                                                    Manufacturing enterprises of
                                                                                                 considerable scale realized an
                                                                                                                                          Hubei in 2004.
                                                                                                                                             Investment structure in Hubei has
relieve farmers’ taxation burdens                                                                output value of 166.47 billion yuan
                                                                                                 (US$20.13 billion), increasing by
                                                                                                                                          also been improved.
                                                                                                                                             The province’s statistics show
                                                                                                 22.8 per cent, a record high since       that a total of 57.68 billion yuan
By Cheng Ruihong                                  year, the highest rate since 1998.             1995.                                    (US$6.97 billion) was invested in
                                                    Thanks to a bumper harvest                      Output value of the service sector    the manufacturing sector in 2004,
                                                  of major farm products, the                    increased 9.5 per cent from 2003         increasing 45.8 per cent from the
Central China’s Hubei Province                    agricultural industry and rural                to 229.52 billion yuan (US$27.75         previous year.
has achieved a rapid and sustain-                 economy maintained a best ever                 billion) in 2004.                           Large-scale manufacturing
able econom ic development in                     momentum in the past few years.                   Fixed-asset investment is also a      projects are still the focus of
recent years.                                       Grain output stood at 21 million             strong engine to drive the province’s    investment.
   Hubei is located in the middle                 tons last year, up 1.8 million tons            economic growth.                            Last year, the number of newly
reaches of the Yangtze River.                     from 2003.                                        Last year, fi xed-asset investment     launched large projects, each with a
   With rich natural resources,                     Growth was also reported in the              in Hubei reached 235.64 billion yuan     scheduled investment of more than
improved communication and                        production of cotton, oil-bearing              (US$28.49 billion), an impressive        1 billion yuan (US$120 million),
transportation networks, strong                   crop, meat and aquatic products.               increase of 25.1 per cent.               reached 64. The figure was 49 in
scientif ic and technological                       The agricultural industry                       The rapid economic growth also        2003.
research capacity and well-                       generated an output value of 102               led to a substantial expansion of the       The actual investment into the 64
structured industries, the province               billion yuan (US$12.33 billion),               consumer market and a considerable       projects reached 52.17 billion yuan
now ranks 10th in China in terms of               growing by 6.5 per cent year-on-               increase in local fiscal revenue.         (US$6.3 billion) last year, up 64 per
comprehensive economic strength.                  year.                                             Retail of consumer goods reached      cent from the previous year.
   In 2004, the province realized a                 The manufacturing sector                     266.75 billion yuan (US $32.26              Investment channels were further
gross domestic product of 630.99 bil-             reported an output value of 299.47             billion), up 13.1 per cent. The figure    diversified.
lion yuan (US$76.3 billion), increas-             billion yuan (US $36.2 billion),               in the rural areas increased by 11 per      In addition to investment from
ing by 11.3 per cent over the previous            growing 13.9 per cent from 2003.               cent, compared with the 8 per cent       the governments, the State-owned
                                                                                                 growth rate in 2003.                     enterprises and foreign businesses,
                                                                                                    Local fiscal revenue stood at 83.82    private enterprises were also major
                                                                                                 billion yuan (US$10.14 billion),         sources of investment.
                                                                                                 growing by 23.7 per cent year-on-           Last year, investment from the
                                                                                                 year.                                    private sector stood at 96.14 billion
                                                                                                                                          yuan (US$11.6 billion), growing 57.9
                                                                                                 Economic structure                       per cent year-on-year.
                                                                                                    Hubei has also seen improvement          Progress were made in regional
                                                                                                 in economic structure in recent          economic development.                          The Yangtze River dyke in Hubei can resist exceptionally violent floods after painstaking renovations in recent years.
                                                                                                 years.                                      Thanks to the deepening rural
                                                                                                    The province has outlined a new       economic reforms and urbanization,             Hubei’s comprehensive reforms.
                                                                                                 industrial development strategy,         Hubei’s county-level economies                    With the reduction of agricultural
                                                                                                 focusing on quality and efficiency        maintained a strong development                tax and the exemption of special
                                                                                                 of industrial operations.                momentum.                                      farm produce tax as the beginning,
                                                                                                    Structural adjustment was                In 2004, 76 counties and county-            the province launched a massive re-
                                                                                                 implemented in such pillar               level cities in Hubei saw an average           form programme in its rural areas,
                                                                                                 industries as automobile, steel and      growth rate of 13.4 per cent in their          including reforms relating to taxa-
                                                                                                 iron production, petrochemicals,         industrial output value.                       tion, the administrative mechanism
                                                                                                 electronic information, textile,            Regional co-operation and                   of townships, management of State-
                                                                                                 construction material and food. As       integration also made headway.                 owned farms and grain distribution
                                                                                                 a result, the sectors have attracted        Wuhan, the provincial capital,              system.
                                                                                                 more and more investment because         has the most powerful economy in                  As a result, farmers’ heavy bur-
                                                                                                 of their increasing competitiveness      Hubei.                                         dens in taxes and miscellaneous
                                                                                                 and market potential.                       With Wuhan as the centre, eight             charges, a problem that had hindered
                                                                                                    The pillar industr ies have           cities – Huangshi, Ezhou, Xiaogan,             Hubei’s development for many years,
                                                                                                 gathered a batch of power ful            Huanggang, Xianning, Xiantao,                  were relieved to a great extent.
                                                                                                 enterprises, including Dongfeng          Qianjiang and Tianmen – are                       Last year, farmers’ per capita taxes
                                                                                                 Automotive Group, Jianghan Oil-          located in an area with a diametre             and charges were reduced to 42 yuan
                                                                                                 field Group and Wuhan Iron and            of 100 kilometres.                             (US$5.08).
                                                                                                 Steel Group.                                This region, gathering a large                 And the provincial authorities                A night view of the No 2 Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan. So far, three bridges have been built
                                                                                                    These companies, which have a         number of industries and enterprises,          pledged to further exempt the                    to cross the river in Wuhan.
                                                                                                 strong demand for related enterprises    is the most dynamic region on the              agricultural tax by the end of this
                                                                                                 to provide raw materials, spare parts    province’s economic map.                       year.                                            withdrawn from 92 per cent of the                cial administration, administrative
                                                                                                 and marketing channels, have helped         The provincial government                      With regard to State-owned                    small and medium-sized enterprises               approval, investment administra-
                                                                                                 form comprehensive industrial            of Hubei has implemented a                     enterprise (SOE) reform, the                     (SMEs).                                          tion and land and resources ad-
                                                                                                 chains in the province.                  programme to integrate the region’s            authorities encourage the SOEs                      At present, private enterprises               ministration, in a bid to create a
                                                                                                    In the agricultural sector,           economies in recent years.                     to establish new operational                     become the dominating force in                   better administrative environment
                                                                                                 emphasis was given to the production        Last year, Wuhan and its                    mechanisms featuring multiple                    Hubei’s SMEs.                                    according to requirements of the
                                                                                                 of high-quality farm products and        neighbouring cities signed a raft of           ownerships and multiple investors.                  Gaining the strong support from               market economy.
                                                                                                 fostering of farm product processing     agreements for joint transportation               Foreign investment and private                local governments, the province’s                  As the province opens wider to the
                                                                                                 enterprises.                             facility construction, industrial              funds are encouraged to participate              leading enterprises reported positive            outside, it has seen a rapid growth in
                                                                                                    Last year, the area of the prov-      restructuring, product development             in SOE reform.                                   progress in their reforms.                       foreign investment and trade.
                                                                                                 ince’s newly constructed high-           and economic partnership.                         Last year, 15 large SOEs were                    For example, Wuhan Iron and                     Last year, foreign investment in
                                                                                                 quality grain production bases and                                                      restructured into entities with                  Steel Group purchased the assets of              Hubei reached US$2.36 billion,
                                                                                                 aquatic cultivation bases reached        Reform and opening up                          multiple ownerships, and another                 the Ezhou Iron and Steel Corp.                   growing by 20 per cent year-on-
                                                                                                 133,300 hectares and 66,700 hectares       The deepening reform and                     50 were re-organized into non-                      The CITIC Taihong Co Ltd                      year. This includes US$2.07 billion
                                                                                                 respectively.                            opening-up initiatives are the major           State-owned enterprises as State                 bought the controlling stake of the              in foreign direct investment, up 33
                                                                                                    In addition, 100 animal husbandry     reasons behind the province’s rapid            assets were withdrawn from these                 Daye Iron and Steel Corp.                        per cent.
The newly built light rail network in Wuhan is evidence of the authorities’ efforts to improve   bases and 250 pollution-free farm        economic growth.                               companies.                                          Governmental reforms were also                  Its export stood at US$3.38 billion,
infrastructure facilities.                                                                       product bases were newly built in          Last year was a crucial period for              Meanwhile, State assets were                  implemented in the fields of finan-                increasing by 27.4 per cent.

Province makes headway
in social undertakings
By Te Kan                                         billion (US$1.22 billion), increasing          yuan (US$10.76 million) to help
                                                  by 14.9 per cent.                              build boarding schools.
                                                     Special attention was paid to the              To promote scientific progress, the
Thanks to its healthy economic                    education sector in rural areas.               provincial department of finance al-
growth, Hubei Province has en-                       In addition to an investment of             located 458 million yuan (US$55.38
hanced investment in the fields of                 4.07 billion yuan (US$492 million)             million) last year to support the
education, science and technology,                from the fi nancial departments at              technical upgrading of the province’s
culture and healthcare in recent                  various levels, the provincial de-             enterprises.
years, greatly promoting the devel-               partment of fi nance allocated some                It also offered 90 million yuan
opment of social undertakings.                    470 billion yuan (US$56.83 million)            (US$10.88 million) to support such
  Last year, the province invested                in the form of transfer payments to            high-tech industries as photo-elec-
some 23.1 billion yuan (US$2.79                   pay salaries to the teachers in rural          tronics, IT and biological engineer-
billion) in the education sector,                 areas.                                         ing.
growing 21.6 per cent from the pre-                  In addition, the department raised             Local authorities have also made
vious year.                                       218 million yuan (US$26.36 million)            great efforts to promote the develop-
  Investment in the nine-year com-                to renovate the school buildings in            ment of cultural undertakings.
pulsory education stood at 10.05                  rural areas and another 89 million                Last year, the provincial depart-
                                                                                                 ment of fi nance invested 99.45 mil-
                                                                                                 lion yuan (US$12 million) in the
                                                                                                 construction of cultural facilities
                                                                                                 including the Hubei Provincial
                                                                                                 Museum and the Chu Cultural
                                                                                                    Hubei is the centre of the Chu
                                                                                                 Culture, a branch of the Chinese
                                                                                                 cultures fostered in the past several
                                                                                                 thousand years.
                                                                                                    In 2004, the province invested 1.05
                                                                                                 billion yuan (US$127 million) in im-
                                                                                                 proving its healthcare facilities.
                                                                                                    Construction of 13 prefecture-
                                                                                                 level emergency medical centres and
                                                                                                 hospitals for infectious diseases,
                                                                                                 as well as 82 county-level disease
                                                                                                 prevention and control centres and
                                                                                                 infectious hospitals were completed
                                                                                                 last year.
                                                                                                    Also, the provincial department
                                                                                                 of health raised some 46 million
                                                                                                 y uan (US $5.56 m i l l ion) to of-
                                                                                                 fer free treatment to snail fever        The Donghu High-tech Development Zone in Wuhan is one of the first batch of State-level high-tech zones in China.
                                                                                                    In addition, the department al-       up 9.6 per cent from the previous                The improved living standard can                  The registered unemployment rate              3.91 million people were offered
                                                                                                 located another 13 million yuan          year.                                          be partly attributed to the increasing           in the urban areas was controlled                u ne mploy m e nt i n su r a nc e a nd
                                                                                                 (US$1.57 million) for the prevention        In the countryside, per capita net          employment and the perfection of a               under 4.3 per cent.                              4.66 million people signed up for
                                                                                                 and treatment of AIDS.                   income of farmers stood at 2,897               social security system.                             A social security system, including           the basic medical insurance.
                                                                                                                                          yuan (US$350), increasing by 13                  The province’s enterprises offered             retirement pension, unemployment                    In addition, the province provided
                                                                                                 Living standards                         per cent, the highest rate during the          600,000 jobs to its urban and rural              insurance and the guarantee of the               subsidies to 1.58 million people in the
                                                                                                   Another aspect of the province’s       past eight years.                              residents last year, increasing by 33            lowest living standard for urban                 urban areas to guarantee their lowest
                                                                                                 social progress is the steady improve-      At the end of 2004, the total resi-         per cent year-on-year.                           residents, was basically established             living standard.
                                                                                                 ment of people’s living standard.        dents’ banking savings hit 386.6 bil-            In addition, 430,000 laid-off                  in the province.                                    Also, related administrative bodies
                                                                                                   In 2004, per capita disposable         lion yuan (US$46.75 billion), an in-           workers found new jobs, growing                     Statistics show that 7.78 million             in Hubei offered financial assistance
Local people dine out at Jiqing Street in Wuhan. The street is noted for its gourmet and folk    income of Hubei’s urban residents        crease of 56.9 billion yuan (US$6.88           5.65 per cent from the previous                  people were included in the prov-                to 300,000 rural residents who live
cultures.                                                                                        reached 8,023 y uan (US $ 970),          billion) year-on-year.                         year.                                            ince’s retirement pension scheme,                under the poverty line.

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