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Delta's growth helps drive nation's future
By Tian Xiuzhen (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-17 01:48

Development of the Yangtze River Delta area would to some extent determine the future of the country, scholars and officials who attended a seminar on Wednesday in Shanghai agreed.

To realize the role the Yangtze River Delta can play in speeding up China's development, the National Development and Reform Commission is drafting a plan, said Shanghai Vice-Mayor Zhou Yupeng at a forum organized by International Finance News.

Covering 1 per cent of total land and 6 per cent of total population in China, the 15 cities in the Yangtze River Delta region contributed 21.6 per cent of the country's total gross domestic product, 34.9 per cent of exports and 49.9 per cent of foreign investment in the first half of the year.

"How to improve the overall competitiveness of the Yangtze River Delta is the biggest problem we have to face and solve," Zhou said, urging all cities in the region to pull down barriers that block free communication and development.

Linda Lorimer, vice-president of Yale University, said it was necessary for governments in the delta area to invest in and develop higher education, the engine of economic development.

The Yangtze River Delta region faces big tasks of improving productivity, optimizing economic growth mode and making greater contributions to the wealth accumulation of the country, according to Hu Hongsheng, director of the Urbanization Research & Development Centre of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

The centre is working on a comprehensive competitiveness index of the Yangtze River Delta, covering all major cities in the region.

A rank of these cities in terms of competitiveness will be unveiled by October this year.

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