Beijing - A plan to form a new economic hub that covers three Central China provinces has the potential to be a new growth engine to boost the development of the nation’s under-developed inland regions, said a National People’s Congress deputy from Hubei province on March 6.
The new hub, which covers cities in Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces, will rise in the coming years as the country's fourth biggest urban hub after the Bohai-Rim Economic Circle, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, all in the eastern costal area, said Gu Shengzu, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
"The hub's growth rate will far outpace that of the national average and quickly rise as one of the country’s economic growth engine," Gu said during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, which started on Monday.
Plans to build the hub were announced last month by leaders from the three provinces, which have a combined population of more than 90 million. A cooperation framework has been signed that covers areas including tourism, transportation, agriculture and technology.
China's inland provinces were great opportunities to crank up growth as rising labor costs in the eastern costal region have shot up significantly in recent years. That forces many enterprises, both domestic and abroad, to move their manufacturing capacity inland in search of cheaper hands.
Li Hongzhong, Hubei's Party chief, has said that the province's gross domestic products could double to 3 trillion yuan by 2016, from 1.5 trillion yuan last year, as more factories are relocated to the province.