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Fatter wallets feed fitness industry
By Zhang Feng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-15 06:03

Thanks to the development of China's economy and society, the country's sports and fitness industry is taking off, vice-minister of the General Administration of Sport Zhang Faqiang said yesterday.

Young dancers perform in Beijing in this July 10, 2005 photo. With fatter wallets, more people are taking regular physical exercises to keep fit and healthy. [newsphoto]
And with 34 per cent China's population between the ages of 7 and 70 taking regular physical exercise, now is the perfect time for foreign investment to enter the market, he said.

Ten years ago, the government issued an outline national fitness programme to enhance the development of national public fitness.

Since then, rapid progress has been made in building sports and fitness venues and facilities, raising public awareness of the importance of keeping fit and in organizing sporting activities, Zhang said.

Encouraged by the central government's call to build a harmonious society and to prepare for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, people have obviously become more conscious of their fitness, Zhang said.

"The growth in income and awareness give an impetus to the booming of the fitness industry including production and sales of sports wear and equipment, venue services and sports training," he added.

Zhang made the remarks at a press conference given by the State Council Information Office yesterday.

According to the second national survey of the present status of China's mass sports, of all those who took part in sports activities in 2000, nearly 9 per cent spent their time and money at profit-making fitness venues, 0.2 per cent more than in 1996, Zhang noted.
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