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Major cities eye balanced growth
By Jiang Zhuqing/Pan Haixia (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-16 05:26

Beijing and Shanghai yesterday set ambitious and identical economic growth targets of 9 per cent annually for the next five years while pledging to improve the quality of life for their residents.

Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan said the highlights of the five-year plan are the hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games as well as building a city that is "safe, convenient and comfortable."

Major cities eye balanced growth
Wang Qishan: "Safe, convenient and comfortable" Beijing
The Games will generate great momentum for the development of the capital, said Wang while delivering a draft report on Beijing's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) at the annual meeting of the municipal people's congress.

The city should grasp the opportunity to build itself into a world-class tourism destination and international exhibition centre, he said.

By 2010, Beijing's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita will be double the 2000 figure at about US$5,400. The GDP in 2005, which is expected to be around 660 billion yuan (US$81.45 billion), will see an annual increase of 9 per cent, said Wang.

But it is not just the economy which will hog the agenda. "Harmonious development among people, resources and the environment as well economic and social progress are crucial,'" said the mayor.

Among the key features of the plan:

Contain the permanent population within 16 million by 2010. The figure reached 15.3 million in 2005, 1.66 million higher than five years earlier.

Accelerate the shift of economic structure and growth modes with the development of high-end industries. For example, the proportion of modern tertiary industry is set to reach 72 per cent of overall industrial output.

Monopolies would be eliminated and preferential policies would be drafted for cultural industries.

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