BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Central China has registered sustained economic growth in the first half of this year, with the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the six central provinces exceeding 11.75 trillion yuan (about 1.82 trillion U.S. dollars).
China's central region includes the provinces of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan. The region's permanent resident population, at nearly 365 million, accounts for more than a quarter of China's total.
Recently, China issued a guideline on promoting the high-quality development of the country's central region in the new era, detailing measures to boost the region's economic growth, scientific and technological innovation, green development and opening-up.
Giving full play to the region's advantages in industrial base, market potential, as well as scientific, educational and labor resources is of great significance for promoting the construction of a new development pattern, said Wu Xiaohua, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.
MORE ADVANCED, GREENER DEVELOPMENT
Regarding promoting advanced manufacturing, the guideline urges the building of industrial bases focused on sectors including intelligent manufacturing, new materials, new-energy vehicles and electronic information.
The emergence of a batch of advanced manufacturing enterprises in Hunan is the result of industrial upgrading in the central region. Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., for example, unveiled a new-generation intelligent excavator this year, which is equipped with a 1.9-cubic meter bucket, an electronically controlled hydraulic system and the 5G remote-control technology.
The company's overseas sales exceeded 10,000 units in 2020, with year-on-year growth of more than 30 percent. "We hope to achieve the goal of 10 billion U.S. dollars in annual overseas sales by around 2025," said Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany.
By 2025, marked progress should be achieved in innovation capacity, with its proportion of research and development input in the regional GDP reaching the national average, says the guideline.
Optics Valley, or the East Lake High-tech Development Zone, in Wuhan of central China's Hubei Province, is well known for its optoelectronic industry chain which attracts global enterprises in the optical fiber, integrated chip and display screen fields.
For more than 30 years, the development zone has been taking innovation as the key to success, and a world-class science city will be fully operational in the development zone in 2035, said Wang Xiangwang, a senior official with the development zone.
The region will also stick to the path of green and low-carbon development with the aim to realize the quest for green development.
Shanxi, a province known for coal production, has made efforts in green and intelligent mining of coal mines and reduction in coal consumption, accelerated the development of new energy, and carried out pilot projects for energy networks construction.
In July, China's national carbon market started online trading, a significant step to help the country reduce its carbon footprints and meet emission targets. Hubei Province will lead the building, operation, and maintenance work of the registration system of the market.
The guideline noted that to achieve inland high-level opening-up, the country should speed up the development of transportation in the region, including building high-speed railways, promoting the construction of an international logistics center and international air-freight shipping center, and improving the international air-traffic network.
A key transport hub, Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, is located at the intersection of the national railway network. To enhance its connection with European countries, the city has built an inland port to handle China-Europe freight trains.
The number of freight train trips via the port jumped from 13 in 2013 to 1,126 in 2020, with the cargo value soaring from 50 million U.S. dollars in 2013 to 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, data showed.
The guideline also urges continued efforts to develop pilot free trade zones in the provinces of Anhui, Henan, Hubei and Hunan to a high standard, and optimize a business environment that is market-oriented, rule-based and internationalized.
From 2006 to 2020, the import and export volume of the six central provinces had increased from 53.6 billion U.S. dollars to 387.3 billion dollars. In real terms, the annual foreign investment in the region increased from 3.42 billion dollars to 7.94 billion dollars.
The central region has excellent geographical advantages in imports and exports, abundant labor resources and a broad consumer market, which are conducive to foreign enterprises to meet the needs of the international market, said Wang Shouwen, China's vice minister of commerce.