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China's western region development plan a dual strategy

07-09-2010 15:00 BJT

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Ten years after it unveiled a strategy to promote growth in its western area, China announced a plan to continue the initiative, even as the world's third largest economy strives to shift to a more domestic-driven growth.

"The plan will not only benefit the western region, but is also crucial to the sound and fast development of the whole nation," Du Ying, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, said at a Thursday press conference.

"Under the new plan, the central government will focus on boosting economic growth, raising people's living standards and enhancing environmental conservation in the western region during the next ten years," Du said.

The central government will also enhance support for development in the region by lowering tax rates and prices for industrial lands, he added.

The NDRC, along with other departments, will compile a catalogue of industries in the western region covered by the government's favorable policies. Companies in these industries will enjoy a favorable corporate income tax rate of 15 percent, compared to the regular rate of 25 percent.

The move to further develop the west came as the government took steps such as subsidizing auto and home appliance buyers, to boost domestic demand and lessen reliance on exports.

Challenges for China's future development lay in "whether we can continue to boost domestic demand and make it a foundation for overall sustainable growth and whether we can remove constraints on resources and environment," Du said.

Turning to this vast region and market was a strategic move, which would help China bolster domestic demand and accelerate transformation of the economic growth pattern, Vice Premier Li Keqiang had said.

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