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Xinjiang gears up for better future
By Cai Muyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-10-19 12:54

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is facing a golden opportunity of construction, opening-up and development after the central government outlined Xinjiang's development goals and tasks at the central work conference on Xinjiang's development over the next five to 10 years, Wumaier Abudula, secretary of the Development and Reform Commission of Xinjiang, said on Monday.

Statistics show that Xinjiang's GDP in 2009 stood at 427.7 billion yuan ($64.33 billion), which is 1.6 times higher than in 1999 (launching of the western development campaign), up 10.1 percent on average annually. The local per-capita GDP reached 19,942 yuan, up 1.2 times from 1999. Local revenue reached 38.88 billion yuan, which is 4.5 times higher than in 1999.

According to Abudula, Xinjiang has optimized its economic structure and reinforced its infrastructure construction. Local industries such as agricultural production and modern animal husbandry also have been making notable progress.

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Xinjiang is also enhancing its trade ties with foreign countries. By the end of 2009, Xinjiang was conducting economic and trade cooperation, as well as scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, with 167 countries and regions. Local foreign trade volume reached $13.8 billion, which is 6.8 times that in 1999, up 22.8 percent annually.

People's livelihoods will be improved, according to Abudula. Xinjiang has been promoting bilingual education (Chinese and minority languages) and providing jobs. Local government is also working to improve the social pension insurance system and raise residents' income through various economic reforms.

Xinjiang is also receiving policy support from the central government and assistance from 19 provinces and municipalities. According to Abudula, Xinjiang has started construction of 99 pilot projects with a total investment of 3.65 billion yuan.

The key to Xinjiang's 12th Five-Year Development Plan is improving people's livelihood, Abudula said. Accelerating new industrialization and urbanization and enhancing opening-up are also keys to Xinjiang's future development.

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