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Provincial heads pledge co-op amid economic slowdown
Updated: 2009-06-10 11:50

"I hope we can deepen economic cooperation to weather the global economic turmoil." The expectation was voiced by 11 heads from 9 provinces in Pan Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region and Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions.

They made the remarks at a press conference of trade delegation heads on Tuesday, as they looked to regional cooperation to help expand domestic demand and step up industry transfer amid the global economic downturn.

The PPRD region includes Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as well as Hong Kong and Macao.

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The ailing external demand dragged down the export-led economic growth of the region. For example, Guangdong booked a slower economic growth of 5.8 percent in the first quarter. It was down 4.7 percentage points from a year ago.

Tong Xing, vice governor of Guangdong, said players in the PPRD region should strengthen economic ties, which would help cut reliance on exports and expand domestic demand.

He added the members should work together to change the growth model of the southern region and push forward industrial upgrading and industry transfer.

"Guizhou will take the opportunity to continue the industries transferred from the developed southern region," Guizhou vice governor Meng Qiliang said.

"Sichuan was the best destination for investment," Li Yuncheng, Sichuan vice governor, told the conference, saying Sichuan enjoyed preferential policies in finance, land, employment and other sectors as the central government was backing the post-quake reconstruction.

Li Bingkang, President with the Macao Trade Promotion Bureau, vowed to step up economic ties with the PPRD. He expected that constant economic exchange would make PPRD the most robust economic zone in the Asia Pacific region.

Guangxi and Yunnan pledged to build a better transportation network in the Pearl River Delta by expanding capacities of roads, railways, ports and airports. Vice governors from both provinces said the network would make trade easier and less costly between the two provinces and neighboring countries.

Trade delegations from PPRD all brought to the fair projects for investment. China has held four PPRD regional cooperation and development forums and trade fairs, with 14,000 projects sealed with total investment up to 1.6 trillion yuan ($234 billion). The first fair was held in Guangdong in 2004.

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