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Tibetan economic growth recovering
Updated: 2008-10-31 22:55

LHASA -- Tibet's economic growth was hit hard in the wake of the March 14 riot, with the rate of increase reduced but showed improvement in the third quarter.

Tibet recorded a 7.4 percent year-on-year economy growth in the first two quarters, the lowest in the past decade. But the figure increased to 9.1 percent for the first three quarters,  said the region's bureau of statistics spokesman Wu Jianhua on Friday.

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Recovery in the third quarter has been encouraging. The gross domestic product (GDP) was 11.549 billion yuan (US$1.69 billion) in the third quarter, compared with only 16.2 billion yuan for the first two quarters, according to Wu.

Investment in fixed assets rose by 12.9 percent to 20.672 billion yuan during the first three quarters, while foreign trade volume increased by 24.2 percent to US$320 million.

Affected by the unrest, the region's foreign trade volume reduced 18.87 percent in the second quarter. However, the volume exceeded US$150 million in the third quarter, compared with about US$170 million for the first two quarters.

Tourism, a backbone industry for the region, was the worst affected by the unrest. Tibet received 1.7 million tourists during the first three quarters, down 47.1 percent year on year, garnering 1.786 billion yuan in revenue.

Tibet has slashed ticket prices in an effort to boost tourism this winter and offset the impact of the unrest, which was the first time in history Tibet has reduced admission prices at nearly all its tourist sites.

Before the March unrest, the Tibet economy had been growing at an annual rate of 12 percent or more over the past seven years. In 2007, the region's GDP was 34.2 billion yuan, about 12,000 yuan per capita -- double the 2002 figure.