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Gansu leverages key roles for high-quality growth

By Yao Yuxin and Ma Jingna in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-14 06:42

Employees check solar panel products at a tech company in Zhangye, Gansu province. WANG JIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Northwest China's Gansu province is set to continue leveraging the Belt and Road Initiative and the strategy of developing the country's western region to further promote its high-quality development, a top provincial official said on Thursday in Beijing.

Building on its success in poverty alleviation, the province has been committed to addressing imbalances in urban-rural, regional and industrial development in recent years, making significant strides in advancing high-quality growth, Ren Zhenhe, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Gansu Provincial Committee and governor of Gansu, said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office.

In 2021, Gansu's GDP surpassed 1 trillion yuan ($137.8 billion). Since 2022, the province's economic growth rate has ranked among the top in the country for seven consecutive quarters. Last year, the growth of residents' per capita disposable income in the province reached 7.5 percent, ranking second among all provincial-level regions in the country.

Ren said this achievement did not come easily. To further drive high-quality development, "the Belt and Road Initiative presents the greatest opportunity for Gansu", he said.

Historically, the ancient Silk Road stretched over 1,600 kilometers within the inland province, accounting for one-fifth of the Silk Road's total length. The Hexi Corridor, located in Gansu, serves as a major gateway to the West.

Today, Gansu, which is located in the middle section of the new Eurasian continental bridge, is a key transportation hub connecting East and West.

The province has launched 21 international freight train routes, connecting with more than 20 countries and regions in Europe, Asia and Africa. These routes, dubbed "steel camel trains", transport goods to and from BRI countries, with imports and exports accounting for over 70 percent of Gansu's total foreign trade volume.

"Stepping back thousands of years, Dunhuang (the most renowned city in Gansu) witnessed the prosperity of the ancient Silk Road. Today, Dunhuang is witnessing the vibrant development of Gansu in the new era," Ren said.

The governor added that Gansu should also seize the strategic opportunity of advancing the development of the country's western region in the new era to promote high-quality growth.

The northwestern province is actively integrating into the national unified market, enhancing its business environment, and attracting industrial transfers from the eastern and central regions.

Last year, Gansu secured over 1 trillion yuan in investment agreements. With an investment of 41 billion yuan, the new silicon-fluorine materials project of Zhejiang Juhua Co, which is based in East China's Zhejiang province, has been established in Yumen, a city historically centered around the oil industry. The project set a record for the amount of industrial investments in Gansu.

In return, leveraging its strengths and key roles in resources, energy, food security and ecological protection, Gansu can align national needs with its own advantages to contribute to the country's high-quality development, said the governor.

For instance, Gansu is a major province for wind and solar resources, ranking among the top in China for solar and wind energy development. The province's total installed capacity for new energy exceeds 56 million kilowatts, accounting for over 60 percent of its total power capacity, the second-highest proportion in the country.

Electricity generated in the province has been transmitted to 25 other provincial-level regions, with over 52 billion kilowatt-hours sent annually, and nearly half of the power is generated from renewable sources.


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