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'Do it now': Xi's policy unleashed Fuzhou's economic potential | Updated: 2024-06-17 14:38
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In December 1991, Xi Jinping and his colleagues discussed the strategic planning concepts for Fuzhou. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the early 1990s, the tide of reform and opening-up gathered pace. For Fuzhou, attracting foreign investment was a critical task, especially given its location and resources. However, at that time, it took several months, or even over a year, for foreign investors to complete the daunting approval process for setting up a factory in Fuzhou, which inevitably dampened investors' enthusiasm.

Xi Jinping, who became secretary of the Fuzhou Municipal Party Committee in April 1990, was very concerned about the lack of awareness about openness and the cumbersome procedures. After carefully studying the situation, he proposed at a working meeting of the municipal Party committee in February 1991 the adoption of a new spirit – "Do it now", which emphasized high efficiency and practical results in work.

In this spirit, Xi and his colleagues held several meetings with investors and tried to work out the quickest possible solutions to speed things up.

In response to the problems Fuzhou faced in attracting foreign investment, Xi pioneered a mechanism that enabled all procedures for investment project approval to be completed in a single building. More than 20 government departments and agencies set up their approval offices in the same building, allowing foreign investors to complete all the necessary procedures in one go. Xi also proposed to hold a monthly reception for foreign investors, which pushed the creation of a new mechanism for regularly addressing problems for enterprises through on-site office work.

These new policies notably improved Fuzhou's investment environment and unleashed its economic potential. From 1990 to 1995, the city's GDP shot up to over 40 billion yuan from less than 10 billion yuan, far outstripping the national average growth rate. Fuzhou was soon recognized as a major boom town.

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