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Consensus reached on Central China Economic Belt

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-23 19:11

WUHAN - Mayors of four provincial capital cities in Central China on Saturday signed a strategic partnership agreement vowing a coordinated effort in building the Central China Economic Belt.

According to the Wuhan Consensus, the cities of Changsha, Hefei, Nanchang and Wuhan will be committed in seeking a regional development strategy, and push for industrial cooperation and infrastructure construction that can meet the common interests.

The four cities, all located along the middle reaches of China's longest river the Yangtze, will take part in regular meetings in order to carry out regional cooperation.

Agreements were also signed by representatives from 11 government departments ranging from transport, technology, commerce to health from the four cities for sharing resources and boosting personnel exchanges and cross-province medical bill settlements.

"With the Concensus, the four cities each with its distinct competitive industries are expected to take a lead in boosting the overall economic growth in the central China economic circle," said Fan Hengshan, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, at the agreement signing ceremony in Wuhan.

The belt is dubbed the country's fourth economic powerhouse. The three other economic circles are the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Bay area encircling Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and Hebei province.

The new economic belt covers an area of 440,000 square km encompassing Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei provinces, with a cluster of 40 cities boasting a total population of 160 million.

Tang Liangzhi, mayor of Wuhan, said the Central China Economic Belt has strong industrial development potential. Each of the four provincial capitals saw their GDP growth rate exceed the national average of 7.8 percent last year.

Wuhan is known as one of China's iron and steel production bases and has booming machinery manufacturing and photoelectron industries. Changsha is famous for its culture industry and engineering machinery sector. Hefei is aimed at building itself as China's leading electric appliance production base. Finally, Nanchang is the country's traditional aircraft production base.

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