Guizhou hits the road to prosperity

Updated: 2013-03-07 13:46

By Jin Zhu and Su Jiangyuan (China Daily)

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Guizhou hits the road to prosperity
Party chief of Guizhou province Zhao Kezhi (left) chats with Governor Chen Min'er at a meeting of the Guizhou delegation during the first session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing on Wednesday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

Authorities in Guizhou province have promised sound and rapid economic development over the next decade to realize its goal of building a prosperous society by 2020.

The poverty-stricken southwestern province has set an annual GDP growth target of 14 percent over the next five years, compared with 12.8 percent in 2012, Governor Chen Min'er, also a deputy to the National People's Congress, said during the annual NPC session on Wednesday.

Chen said development in the province will be accelerated in several fields, including industrial development, the private sector and urbanization.

"But such economic growth should not be achieved at the expense of the environment. Instead, government authorities should encourage the development of those industries that have little negative impact on the local ecology," he said.

Zhao Kezhi, Party chief of Guizhou and an NPC deputy, said all projects will receive strict environmental assessment before being launched.

"We will refuse any project that may trigger pollution in the local environment, especially those with heavy-metal pollution," he said.

In 2012, the State Council announced the further promotion of sound but rapid economic and social development in Guizhou in a document outlining a series of policies allowing the province to protect its ecology, strengthen industrialization and urbanization, and accelerate economic development.

The document is seen as a move to speed up development so that Guizhou catches up with more economically advanced provinces and regions.

Statistics from the provincial government forecast that 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) will be invested to strengthen infrastructure construction this year.

Forty-two key water conservation projects have been built in the past two years, including one large reservoir and 36 medium-sized ones, official figures show.

Liu Yuankun, deputy governor of Guizhou, said: "Thanks to the construction of important reservoir projects, water storage capacity in the province will reach 14 billion cubic meters by 2015, up from the current 9 billion cubic meters, which means water supply in the province will completely satisfy water demand for local economic and social development."

Guizhou will build 20 well-off counties by 2017 and people in more than 90 percent of all counties in the province are expected to live comfortably, financially, by 2020, according to the provincial government.

About 6.3 million rural residents in Guizhou have left their hometowns to work outside the province.

Meanwhile, about 237,000 pupils dropped out of compulsory education in the province last year, statistics from the provincial government show.

Zhao said: "We hope more migrant workers can be attracted to work near their homes when more industries are developed in the province. Thus, such children will receive better care from their parents."

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(China Daily 03/07/2013 page6)