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Northeast provinces to improve commerce

Xu Wei/Hou Liqiang
Updated: Mar 8,2019 9:07 AM     China Daily

Officials from China’s Northeast provinces have vowed to heighten their efforts to improve the business environment and further boost the private sector.

Speaking in a panel discussion during the ongoing 13th National People’s Congress, Zhang Qingwei, Party secretary of Heilongjiang province, said the province will strive for breakthroughs in its business environment and improvements in the work style of officials this year.

Zhang said during the discussion, which was open to the media, that the province is faced with problems such as a predominantly heavy industry structure, sluggish private sector and lack of talent for innovation.

The private sector contributed more than half the province’s GDP last year, and the authorities will boost support for the sector so that it could grow to as much as two-thirds of GDP in a few years, he said.

Bayanqolu, Party secretary of Jilin province, said the province will endeavor to build an e-government as part of efforts to improve the business environment.

The development of the e-government will use some of the latest technologies for innovations, he said. The development of smart manufacturing will be prioritized in sectors such as auto manufacturing and aerospace, he said.

He noted that Jilin has also stepped up cooperation with leading private businesses such as Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent, and the province’s cross-border e-commerce has received a boost.

Tang Yijun, governor of Liaoning province, also pledged that provincial authorities will strive to promote one-stop government services and streamline approvals to improve the business environment.

To further shore up economic growth, both Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces have vowed to make greater strides to boost tourism. Wang Wentao, Heilongjiang’s governor, said new high-speed railways, better roads and more hotels will be built in the province, and the government will step up its oversight of businesses overcharging tourists.

The government will also introduce a special fund from which tourists can claim their losses immediately after finding they’ve been overcharged, he said, adding that the compensation will be delivered even before government investigations start.

Jing Junhai, governor of Jilin, said tourism at Chagan Lake expanded fivefold during the National Day holiday period last year, and tourism revenues are up by 22 percent since the start of winter.

The three northeastern provinces saw economic growth pick up last year, shrugging off the less rosy outlook of previous years.

Last year, GDP in Liaoning rose 5.7 percent, 4.5 percent in Jilin and 5.7 percent in Heilongjiang, according to government reports.