Planes, trains & automobiles in Guizhou
By Liu Xiangrui (China Daily)
Updated: 2012-11-13 08:12
Province spends big on transport links to boost tourism and industry
The vice-governor of Guizhou has outlined the huge progress being made in the southwest Chinese province's infrastructure development, especially in transportation, as it seeks to attract investment and increase tourism.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Qin Rupei revealed that in the first three quarters of the year, 54.1 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) and 16.3 billion yuan were spent on road and rail construction, increases of 25 percent and 41 percent over the same period last year. Investment in airport construction, meanwhile, more than doubled during the period.
"Those growth rates are the highest of any region," said Qin, who is a delegate to the ongoing 18th Party Congress.
Guizhou's highway network has grown by 600 km, with 60 counties in the province now connected by highways; and another 13 highways are planned, he added.
In addition to three new main railway lines, and a new airport, the province is also expanding Longdongbao International Airport, located in the capital Guiyang, to handle express air links with Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and frequent services to other major cities.
By 2020, Longdongbao will be able to handle about 35 million passengers a year.
Known for its rich natural resources, beautiful scenery and diverse ethnic communities, the vice-governor added, the province's growth in tourism has been equally impressive.
In the first three quarters of the year, 168 million tourists visited Guizhou, a growth of 29 percent, creating revenue of 144.5 billion yuan, 30.5 percent more than the same period last year.
In the first eight months of the year, figures show, foreign capital investment grew by 58.7 percent, while all investment from outside the province grew 111 percent in key industries including IT, machinery, food processing, biomedicine, new materials and new energy, agriculture and tourism, Qin said.
"We're going to create a better investment environment and provide better services in the future," he added.
Meanwhile, Guizhou is also becoming an important industrial center, particularly focusing on energy, aluminum and phosphorous chemical industries.
During a visit to Guizhou last month, Premier Wen Jiabao said the province was enjoying the most prosperous time in its history.
"Guizhou has witnessed dramatic changes since the nation started the strategic development of western China," said Qin.
"The potential and the momentum of development it has shown are now attracting global attention, and in future I am confident we will catch up with rest of the country despite our late start."
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