Tibet enjoys quarterly record growth as trade and investment return

Updated: May 19, 2023 By PALDEN NYIMA China Daily Print
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Autonomous region plans almost 200 projects this year worth more than 143 billion yuan in sectors such as infrastructure and ecology

The Tibet autonomous region's GDP exceeded 57.5 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) during the first quarter of this year, up 8.2 percent year-on-year; the highest growth rate in China.

In the first three months, economic operations in the region had a good start and showed steady recovery, said Pema Wodan, an official from the region's statistics bureau at a news conference on April 26.

Pema Wodan said the contribution by investors was obvious during the first three months. Investment in fixed assets has also grown rapidly.

In the first three months, fixed asset investment rose by 66.2 percent year-on-year, ranking first in China.

The momentum of industrial growth was strong over the first three months and the incremental value of industries above designated size — which mean enterprises with annual sales revenue of more than 20 million yuan — in the region increased by 18.5 percent year-on-year, 15.5 percentage points higher than the national average of 3 percent. The growth rate also ranked first in the country.

"Overall, with the rapid and stable transition from the pandemic prevention and control situation, the economic operation of the region in the first quarter started well and showed a trend of stabilization and recovery," Pema Wodan said.

To sustain the growth momentum, the autonomous region is planning 191 key projects for this year in the areas of infrastructure, characteristic industries, ecological civilization, border-area consolidation and improvement of livelihoods, with a total investment of more than 143 billion yuan, according to the Tibet Development and Reform Commission.

About 54 billion yuan will be invested in key infrastructure projects, including the Nyingchi-Ya'an section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, the renovation of Terminals 1 and 3 at Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, various road and bridge projects and clean energy utilization in rural areas.

More than 71 billion yuan will be invested in the development of characteristic industries, including clean energy, green industries, tourism infrastructure facilities, plateau agriculture and animal husbandry.

More than 1.2 billion yuan will be invested in ecological preservation projects and urban sewage and garbage disposal systems.

Meanwhile, more than 7 billion yuan is expected to be spent on projects for the development of border areas.

In addition, about 8.2 billion yuan will be invested to improve people's livelihoods. These projects include kindergartens, schools, public health services and the construction of a regional planetarium.

The Tibet autonomous region also plans to implement more than 1,300 rural vitalization projects this year, with an estimated investment of more than 14.67 billion yuan.

Among the plans, the construction of 84 projects with an investment of 701 million yuan has begun, and a total of 809 projects with investment topping 9.13 billion yuan have entered the bidding process, according the region's rural vitalization bureau.

The region is working "to promote all-around rural vitalization, enhance people's sense of gain and happiness and accelerate agricultural development in 2023", Wang Junzheng, Tibet's Party secretary, said at a work conference on rural affairs in February.

Promoting the intensive processing of agricultural products, developing rural tourism, leisure agriculture and rural e-commerce, and cultivating new agricultural and animal husbandry business entities in rural areas will be high on the local authorities' agenda, Wang said.

Other missions of the region will include introducing a number of leading enterprises in farming and animal husbandry and developing cooperatives for rural residents, Wang added.

Meng Chunhui, deputy head of the rural vitalization bureau in Nang county, said that starting from 2021, a series of rural vitalization projects have been implemented to benefit rural residents.

Meng said rural vitalization projects in his county were mainly rural infrastructure upgrades, including sewage treatment systems, water supplies and paved roads.

"More than 200 million yuan was invested in infrastructure projects in more than 10 villages and six townships in our county in 2022 and we plan to implement similar projects in 14 new villages this year," Meng said.

"These projects will also provide job opportunities for residents, creating another source of income for them. All the construction sites welcome local workers, which will enable them to earn money without traveling far from their homes," he added.

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