The second session of the 13th Gansu Provincial People’s Congress was held on Jan 26. The session saw the release of the latest government work report, highlighting the province’s great achievements over the past year.
Gansu’s economy in 2018 witnessed stable growth. The GDP in the province rose by 6.3 percent to 824.61 billion yuan ($119.92 billion) last year, according to local officials.
Specifically, profits of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 31.2 percent from January to November, making it the fourth fastest growth rate in China. General public budget revenue increased by 8.3 percent, including 13.6 percent in tax revenue. Its retail sales of consumer goods hit 342.84 billion yuan, up 7.4 percent year-on-year. Total volume of imports and exports reached 39.47 billion yuan. The per capita disposable income in the province’s urban areas increased by 7.9 percent year-on-year to 29,957, while rural per capita disposable income rose by 9 percent to 8,804 yuan. An additional 431,300 urban jobs were also created last year, 7.8 percent more than planned.
Battle against poverty with staunch support
The number of people living in poverty was reduced by 776,000, with the incidence of poverty dropping from 9.6 percent to 5.6 percent. Eighteen counties and districts moved out of poverty, reducing the number of poverty-stricken counties from 75 to 57.
Elevate the level of people’s livelihoods
Provincial expenditure on people’s livelihoods reached 298.38 billion yuan, up 14.4 percent, accounting for 79.1 percent of total fiscal expenditure. The basic old-age pension for non-working urban and rural residents was raised from 85 yuan to 103 yuan per person per month.
Ecological industry maintains good momentum
The added value of the 10 largest ecological industries reached 151.13 billion yuan, accounting for 18.3 percent of the province’s GDP, up by 6.7 percent. The cultural tourism industry also grew strongly, receiving more than 300 million tourists from home and abroad, and generating over 200 billion yuan in tourism revenue, up by more than 26 percent and 30 percent. Meanwhile, the afforestation area reached 312,500 hectares, exceeding the target by 30 percent. Efforts were also made to prevent and control air, water and soil pollution. The average number of days with good air quality in prefecture-level cities of the province reached 91.2 percent.
Deeply integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative construction
Lanzhou has been approved as a pilot city of the national comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce. The largest cross-border e-commerce regulatory platform in northwest China has been established in Lanzhou New Area. Four overseas bonded warehouses have been set up in Britain, Russia, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, with the total trade volume in the comprehensive bonded zone exceeding 10 billion yuan. Moreover, outward direct investment reached $687 million, up 42 percent. The province also strengthened international exchanges and regional economic cooperation, increasing the number of international sister cities by five to 63.
Targets for 2019
The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and will be a crucial year for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Hence, the main targets set for economic and social development in Gansu province include GDP growth of around 6 percent, and general public budget income increasing by 6 percent, investment in fixed assets growing by about 6 percent, total retail sales of consumer goods increasing by 8 percent. Per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents rising by about 7 percent and 8 percent. The registered urban unemployment rate is to be kept within 4 percent, with an additional 380,000 urban jobs to be created, and the consumer price index (CPI) will be below 3 percent.
Otherwise, the province expects that more than 850,000 people will be lifted out of poverty, with the incidence of poverty reducing to 1.3 percent. Energy consumption per unit of GDP and discharge of major pollutants will meet the control targets set by the State, and the added value of the 10 major ecological industries as a proportion of GDP will increase significantly.