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Auto sector drives up profits
( 2003-11-18 01:05) (China Daily)

The auto sector will help rev up Jilin Province's economic motor this year, bringing the northeastern province's industrial profits to historic levels.

The province's industrial profit will touch 15 billion yuan (US1.81 billion) this year, which is more than the total for the 1990-99 period, according to the local statistics bureau.

And the province's gross domestic product (GDP) will also witness double-digit growth, reaching 10 per cent after six years of slump, said Chen Jianhua, director of Statistics Bureau of Jilin Province.

"The auto and auto components industry are mainly responsible for this growth,'' said Chen.

Auto industry output was 55.9 billion yuan (US6.76 billion) in the first half this year, accounting for nearly half of Jilin's GDP. And it contributed 6.5 billion yuan (US$786 million) in profits, accounting for 70 per cent of its total industrial profits.

"We should stick to the auto industry and develop Changchun into the nation's biggest auto centre in the coming years with full use of great opportunity to revitalize Northeast China,'' said Zhu Yejin, mayor of Changchun.

The city and Jilin as a whole are major industrial bases of the country prior to the nation's reform and opening process, only beset by problems in the past two decades. The central government has attached great importance to revitalizing Northeast China's economy since last year.

However, some expert are worried that the overheating auto market may lead a new round of duplication of similar projects as so many regions get involved.

"Many provinces have decided to develop their own auto manufacture as the pillar industry even though they do not have any base,'' said Yi Baozhong, economics professor at Jilin University.

Compared to the white-hot growth of the auto manufacturing industry, the auto components industry is lagging far behind the auto industry in Jilin.

About one-third of auto components were bought from other provinces and abroad, according to Chen.

And Chen said in the newly issued first package of revitalizing projects backed by the central government, Jilin won some projects to enhance its auto component industry. But he declined to give details about the plan.

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