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China's engine room set to power up again
( 2003-10-09 01:30) (Xinhua)

Tremendous changes are expected within the next five years in Liaoning Province, a major but struggling industrial base in Northeast China, according to the province's governor.

Governor Bo Xilai told Chinese and foreign media in a recent interview that his province would strive to ease unemployment, create a new key industry, increase foreign and private investment, and boost fiscal revenue.

Liaoning, which was an industrial powerhouse for China in the 1950s and 60s, was left behind in the march towards a market economy in the mid-1990s due to its single economic structure focusing on heavy industry.

Over half of its state-owned enterprises closed and more than 3 million workers were laid off.

The retooling of State-owned enterprises, however, entered a new stage after the Chinese Government outlined a strategy this year to revitalize old industrial bases in the northeast.

Bo said Liaoning Province faces problems such as vulnerable businesses, mass unemployment, depleted mines and environmental degradation. He attributed the problems to inadequate experience, a narrow economic structure and insufficient openness.

The provincial governor noted that Liaoning's strengths are in its industrial expertise, science, education and transportation.

Bo said these advantages would drive the province's development.

He said Liaoning would privatize more small and medium-sized State-owned enterprises, introduce a share-holding system, and attract more foreign direct investment.

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