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Western province sees more urban residents than farmers

By Yang Jie | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-04-04 10:30

Urbanization rate in a province leading the development of China's landlocked western part has topped 50 percent for the first time, said the executive deputy governor on Tuesday.

"The urbanization rate in Shaanxi province rose by 2.7 percentage points and reached 50.02 percent in 2012," said Executive Deputy Governor Jiang Zelin at a press conference for the 17th Investment and Trade Forum for Cooperation between East and West China.

Statistics shows that for one percentage point rise in urbanization rate, more than 380,000 farmers move into cities in Shaanxi, which means great potential of domestic demand surge and in the end big contribution to economic growth.

With an amazing growth rate of 12.9 and 13.9 percent respectively last year and the year before, the northwestern province sets a GDP growth target of 13 percent for 2013, ranking the second in the mainland's 31 provincial regions.

However, Jiang stresses more the quality of urbanization despite the province's urbanization rate is still 2.5 percentage points below the national average.

"International experience shows that 50 percent of urbanization rate is a critical period for improving the quality of urbanization and we may lose all if planning bad," said Jiang.

Shaanxi's urbanization level is expected to reach 57% by 2015, according to the province's 12th five-year plan (2011-2015).

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