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China's regions target high growth over next five years

Friday, November 26, 2010 7:25 AM


BEIJING, Nov. 26, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Even though China's central economic indicators have yet to be finalized, quite a few provinces have already set ambitious targets for the 12th Five Year Program (2011-2015).

Under the local development plans that have been published so far, there are already four provinces or municipalities that have set targets to double GDP or even GDP per capita over the coming five years.

In a breakdown, South China's Guangxi is aiming to double its GDP and fiscal revenue by 2015.

Northeast China's Heilongjiang province has similar targets and also aims to make the 2011-2015 its fastest-developing era since China adopted the opening-up policy in 1978. Southwest China's Guizhou province is aiming for a GDP of 800 billion yuan of over the next five years, and will endeavor to raise the figure to 1 trillion yuan.

Chongqing municipality plans to double its GDP per capita to 8,000 US dollars, and make sure that the city as a whole will be on the track of modernization by 2015.

Inner Mongolia and Tianjin municipality have committed themselves to doubling GDP during 2011-2015, though their robust economic growth, about 15 percent to 20 percent in recent years, suggests the doubling-of-GDP task may be conservative.

--Local governments: confident of a doubled GDP

Over the period of the 11th Five Year Program (2006-2010), China aimed to double its GDP per capita in 2010 from that of 2000, with average annual growth of 7.2 percent. In the event, the actual growth was 7.5 percent, said an expert at the Economic Research Office of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Several regions have posted targets of doubling their GDP per capita during 2011-2015, which means their economic growth is expected to reach 15 percent. If the factors such as commodities prices are excluded, the nominal growth rate is likely to hit more than 20 percent, the expert added.

China's local governments, which have committed themselves to these ambitious targets, are quite confident of realizing their goals.

Chongqing municipality only needs to maintain its GDP growth at about 12.5 percent to reach the goal, said the mayor, Huang Qifan, earlier this month. Previously, in October, Huang noted that Chongqing's annual GDP growth is likely to remain at about 15 percent.

Investment in Chongqing is estimated to hit 4 trillion yuan during next five years, and sales revenues of Chongqing's strategic emerging industries may top 1 trillion yuan in 2015. In addition, although GDP per capita in Guizhou currently stands at a slightly more than 1,000 US dollars, about a third of China's average, it is still quite likely to double its GDP figure in the next five years, in view of its present 3.8 trillion yuan investment plans, said Song Ming, head of the economic institute of the provincial academy of social sciences.

-- Energy-saving measures may cause a bottleneck

Despite local authorities' general optimistic views of the future, there are also concerns that the energy-saving and emission-reduction measures may hold back economic development.

As China has adopted a low-carbon development strategy, the country has planned to raise the proportion of energy from non-fossil sources in its total primary energy (OOTC:PENGF) consumption to 15 percent by 2020, and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP would be reduced by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. To achieve these two targets primary energy consumption must be kept to below 4.2 billion metric tons (tonnes) in the next five-year plan (2011-2015).

China's current annual per capita energy consumption is the equivalent of 2.5 tonnes of standard coal. Calculated by normal population growth rates, the total primary energy consumption in the country is likely to approach or even exceed 7 billion tonnes of standard coal in 2030, if there is no control over energy consumption, said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economic Research at Xiamen University.

And if China is to take control of its total energy consumption, it will be difficult for a number of provinces in the country to realize their economic growth targets, said Lin. (Edited by Shi Chunjiao, shichunjiao@xinhua.org)

(Source: )
(Source: Quotemedia)

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