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15:43 Dec 26 2010

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Tibet reports two-digit GDP growth for 18 consecutive years
15:43, December 26, 2010  

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has reported two-digit GDP growth for 18 consecutive years, with this year's growth rate estimated at 12.2 percent year on year, the regional government chairman said.

Tibet maintained steady economic growth this year, with the annual GDP estimated at 50.6 billion yuan (7.6 billion U.S. dollars), said Padma Choling at the annual economic work conference that opened in Nyingchi Prefecture Thursday.

He attributed the growth to the booming secondary and tertiary industries, which reported 14.8 percent and 12.6 percent year-on-year growth respectively.

Foreign trade and tourism continued to boost regional economic development, he said.

Tibet reported 580 million U.S. dollars of foreign trade in the first 10 months, up 83.7 percent on the same period last year, according to the latest figures available at the regional customs office.

Figures from the local tourism bureau showed Tibet received an estimated 6.82 million tourist arrivals this year, up 21.6 percent year on year. Earnings from tourism totaled at least 6.93 billion yuan, up 32.8 percent from last year.8 Hefty investment from the central government was also a major engine driving Tibet's economic growth, said Padma Choling.

This year, the figure was estimated at a record 25.3 billion yuan, up 20.5 percent year on year.

As a result of the economic boom, the net per capita income of Tibetan farmers and herders was estimated to reach 3,990 yuan, up 13 percent year on year, said Padma Choling.

Tibet's strong growth would continue next year, with the region likely to achieve at least 12 percent GDP growth and 13 percent per capita income growth for farmers and herders, said Zhang Qingli, secretary of the Communist Party of China Tibet Autonomous Region Committee.

Meanwhile, he said the region would keep its consumer price index within 3.5 percent to ensure "happy and secure life" for the residents.

The three-day economic work conference was a follow-up to the central economic work conference in Beijing earlier this month. Attended by policymakers, scholars and specialists in agriculture, economics, education and energy sectors from across Tibet, the conference will work out plans for regional economic development for next year as well as the coming five years.

The Chinese central government has vowed to achieve "leapfrog" development and lasting stability in Tibet.

Source: Xinhua

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