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Anhui urged to embrace economic belt

By Hu Yongqi (China Daily) Updated: 2017-03-11 06:55

Premier Li Keqiang called on Friday for Anhui province to take a leading role in the nation's strategy of boosting central China's development as well as take advantage of the country's promotion of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

The premier spoke during a panel discussion of National People's Congress deputies from Anhui, which is seen as a junction along the river, since it connects the upstream section in regions including neighboring Hubei province and the downstream section in Jiangsu province and Shanghai.

The economic belt, announced by the State Council, China's Cabinet, in September 2014, covers 2.05 million square kilometers, with 40 percent of the country's population, and generates about 40 percent of its gross domestic product.

Anhui registered a GDP growth of 8.7 percent last year, 2 percentage points higher than the nation's rate. The income per capita in urban areas increased by 8.2 percent year-on-year, and in rural areas by 8.3 percent. About 960,000 people were lifted out of poverty last year amid the country's campaign of poverty alleviation.

Li said Anhui has made huge progress in economic development and industrial restructuring in recent years and should embrace the positive tendency created by recent economic achievements.

The province should take supply-side structural reform as its central work while deepening administrative streamlining to transfer the government's focus to better supervision and public services, the premier said.

Additionally, Anhui should accelerate the process of transforming traditional economic drivers into new ones, Li said. The province should also develop emerging industries with new technologies and explore new potential for traditional industries that are expected to be part of a medium- to high-end economy, he said.

For example, local company JAC Motors Co announced in September the establishment of a joint venture with German automaker Volkswagen Group to produce electric vehicles.

The provincial capital, Hefei, follows Beijing and Shanghai to rank third in the country for scientific research capability.

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