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Guangdong to improve livelihoods

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-01 01:55

Guangdong to improve livelihoods

Zhu Xiaodan (left) walks to a press conference after being re-elected governor of Guangdong at the annual session of the provincial legislature on Thursday. [FENG ZHOUFENG / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Improving people's livelihoods, especially those in rural areas, will be a major task for the newly elected provincial government, said Zhu Xiaodan, governor of Guangdong.

Zhu, who was re-elected at the annual session of the local legislature on Thursday, pledged that the provincial government will lead local residents to develop a moderately prosperous society during his term.

"Guangdong has led the nation in the economy for 24 years. But we should realize that the province has a huge gap in economic development between its rural and urban areas," Zhu said.

Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China, registered a gross regional product of 5.7 trillion yuan ($916 billion) last year, with a year-on-year increase of 10.2 percent, according to a government work report.

The Pearl River Delta region, which includes nine cities, accounts for almost 80 percent of the province's economy.

In Guangdong's rural areas, some 2.3 million people are living below the poverty line and some 1.68 million residents depend on low income in urban areas, according to Zhu.

"So, it will be a big challenge for us new government officials to develop a relatively prosperous society to enable all local residents to benefit from the economic development," Zhu said.

The per capita income in Guangdong's urban and rural areas reached 30,227 yuan and 10,543 yuan respectively last year.

"The per capita GDP in 11 cities in the northern, western and eastern parts of Guangdong remains below the national average. The tough economic situation has made us aware that a better job needs to be done in coming years to balance economic development across the province," Zhu said.

To boost the economy in underdeveloped areas, the provincial government will continue to implement an industrial transfer plan in the years ahead — which means some manufacturing businesses in the Pearl River Delta region will be moved to its eastern, western and northern regions.

Authorities in Shantou, a coastal city in the eastern part of Guangdong, have planned to develop a number of industrial parks in the following years to attract investment from the Pearl River Delta region.

The city will reclaim 24 square kilometers from the sea this year to develop a new economic cooperative and experimental zone along its eastern coastal line.

Zhu, born in January 1953, was Guangdong's vice-governor from February 2010. He was appointed acting governor in November 2011, after the local legislature approved the resignation of his predecessor, Huang Huahua.

"I was born and studied in Guangdong. And I have been working in the province for years. I make my utmost efforts to do a good job and help local residents realize their dream — to live in a well-off society," Zhu said at the closing ceremony of the annual local legislature session.

Zhu has been working in Guangdong since 1971, taking jobs at a local musical instrument factory and the local committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

The first session of the 12th Guangdong People's Congress ended on Thursday in Guangzhou, the provincial capital city, with Huang Longyun being elected chairman of the standing committee of the local legislative body.

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