JINAN -- East China's Shandong province experienced a slower but greener economic growth last year amid a shift to an economy powered more by new growth drivers.
Shandong's gross domestic product, the third largest nationwide, grew 6.4 percent year on year to 7.65 trillion yuan ($1.13 trillion) in 2018, according to the provincial government work report delivered at the ongoing session of the provincial legislature.
It has set its economic growth target for 2019 at 6.5 percent. In 2017, its GDP expanded at an annual rate of 7.4 percent.
In 2019, the provincial government will actively apply to build the China (Shandong) pilot free trade zone and help local companies expand overseas markets, according to the report.
In 2018, fixed-asset investment and retail sales rose 4.1 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. Foreign trade grew 7.7 percent to 1.93 trillion yuan, said the work report.
The province has been seeking new growth drivers while upgrading traditional industries.
In 2018, industrial output for enterprises with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about $3 million) grew 5.2 percent while that for high-tech companies grew at a faster 9.6 percent, it said.
Local authorities have stepped up efforts in pollution control, with over 1.3 GW of coal-fired power generation capacity being eliminated and clean energy power generation up 50 percent.
The average concentration of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that pose serious health risks, declined 14 percent.
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