Transforming Guizhou's industries

Updated: 2012-10-15 14:17

By Yang Jun and Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

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Transforming Guizhou's industries
Good mountains and good water breed good wine. The provincial government says it has a dream that Guizhou will become a prominent wine producing region. Photos Provided to China Daily

Innovation fuels traditional and new emerging sectors

Technological innovation in both traditional and emerging industries fueled a 14 percent year-on-year increase in GDP in Guizhou in the first six months of the year, said local officials.

The province in Southwest China had a GDP of 279 billion yuan ($42.4 billion) in the first half of the year, helping bring per capita disposable income for urban residents to more than 9,700 yuan, an increase of 18 percent over the same period in 2011.

Even as the national economy slowed to below 8 percent, the local economy in Guizhou performed better than many other provinces and regions in China, according to the provincial bureau of statistics.

Its fixed investment, public financing and budget revenue grew at the third-highest level.

Guizhou also plays a dominant role in China's mineral resources of mercury, aluminum, phosphorus, coal and antimony.

The mountainous area on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is rich in natural and cultural resources. Its traditional industries include timber and forestry as well as rich sources of medicinal herbs, coal, limestone, arsenic and gypsum.

Coal is the pillar industry in Liupanshui, the third largest city in Guizhou.

Statistics show that the coal production capacity in the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou surpassed a record 80 million tons.

Since 2000, efficient or illegal coal mines have been shut down, but though the number of mines fell, production increased due to consolidation and greater efficiency.

"The coal industry (in Liupanshui) should pursue another major development through industrial upgrading - and the appropriate time is now," said Wang Xiaoguang, the city's Party secretary.

To encourage modernization, the provincial government has formulated a number of policies aimed at extending the industrial chain.

The industry now has more down-stream outlets ranging from exports to manufacturing coal tar and other chemical products with high added value.

Industrial improvements are not limited to coal, but also play a big role in promoting emerging industries such as bio-pharmaceuticals, energy, new materials, insurance and tourism.

For example, the bio-pharmaceutical industry has changed its focus from large scale to fine production.

In an industrial park for the sector, seven of the 27 resident companies have been publicly listed.

The industrial park, home to 27 high-tech enterprises and seven listed companies, is a highly intensified industrial zone in Guizhou, showing its attraction to high-end companies.

Technological innovation is also helping other emerging industries pursue a more effective and green path to development, said Wang.

Wengfu Group Co Ltd, which has grown into a major international phosphorus company, is now cooperating with 15 institutes and universities in China on new production technologies. Its annual research and development investment now totals 300 million yuan.

It plans to become the biggest producer of phosphogypsum in the world and the first company to extract iodine from phosphate by the end of 2015.

As well, industry upgrades and technological innovation by private companies has led to greater investment.

In the first six months, investment in the private sector reached 165 billion yuan, an increase of 70 percent year-on-year. Private companies now pay 60 percent of the taxes in the province.

The strong economy boosted by the rapid growth has brought more benefits to residents. More than 200,000 people found jobs in the first half of the year, an increase of 33 percent over last year.

Increasing employment, GDP and tax revenues also enable the government to improve social welfare.

There are all together 10.25 million people in pilot projects for new rural and urban social insurance plans.

More than 4.17 million students from rural areas can now get free lunches, while 95 percent of rural senior residents 60 years old or over are for pensions and medical insurance.

This year, the local government also implemented a financial arrangement for 1.2 billion yuan to launch the "green poverty alleviation project" that plans to transfer 101,300 migrants from Shishan district, Shenshan district and Gaohan district and build 145 reallocation sites.

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