Xizang sees strong growth in economy

2024-04-10 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

The Xizang autonomous region has witnessed a strong economic recovery in recent years, especially through a dramatic increase in foreign trade since the beginning of this year, according to the regional economic planner.

The growth rates of key economic indicators in Xizang — GDP, fixed-asset investment, total retail sales of consumer goods, per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents, and import and export volume — all ranked top in the country last year, according to the region's development and reform commission.

In the first two months of this year, the total value of imports and exports in the region was nearly 1.75 billion yuan ($250 million), up from about 480 million yuan in the same period last year, according to Lhasa Customs.

Export value reached 1.65 billion yuan, up from about 425 million yuan in 2023, while, imports reached 98 million yuan, up 75 percent year-on-year.

"A high-quality development model featuring innovation, coordination, green development, openness and sharing has been further promoted in the region, leading to a continuous reduction in the urban-rural income gap," said Wang Guanjie, deputy director of the region's development and reform commission.

"In 2024, Xizang put forward more than 40 key tasks, including promoting technological growth, and the development plan for the hydrogen and oxygen industries, to ensure new progress in the high-quality development of the plateau economy."

Per capita GDP soared to over 65,000 yuan last year.

Tian Guanghua, head of the regional statistics bureau, said rapid social changes in the region date back to the democratic reforms in Xizang that started in 1959, after which the region's economic and social development underwent earthshaking changes.

"The main highlights of the changes and development over the past few decades reflect comprehensive economic growth, with its economic growth rates ranking top nationwide, as well as the improvement in population quality and urbanization, the improvement in people's livelihoods, and overall social prosperity," Tian said.

Statistics from the bureau show that from 1993 to 2017, Xizang's economy sustained double-digit growth for 25 consecutive years.

In addition, people's livelihoods have been continuously improving, with the average life span in the region increasing from 35.5 years before 1959 to 72.19 years, she said.

"The region established a 15-year publicly funded education system," Tian added. "The government pays for children's school meals, lodging and tuition from kindergarten through senior high school."

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