The State Council, China's cabinet, recently approved the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010) for the
development of western regions. This approval demonstrates the
value placed by the Chinese central authorities on the development
of western regions, according to Professor Yang Xianming from
Yunnan University's Development Institute who is a member of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). To such an end,
accelerating industry transfer from east China to central and
western regions will assist in improving economic growth across the
impoverished areas, Yang said.
Prof. Yang, along with the China Democratic National
Construction Association, is attending the 12-day annual session of
the CPPCC National Committee, which opened in Beijing on Saturday
In his proposal submitted to the current CPPCC session, Yang
pointed out that China set clear goals to move labor-intensive
industry westwards some time ago, but recent years have seen no
progress in this respect, making it difficult to promote western
industrial development and related industrial structure
Professor Yang said: "Now plenty of cheap labor is still moving
from west China to the east, with the result that efficiency of
labor in western China is markedly lower than in the east.
Simultaneously, no policy exists in some eastern areas to support
industry transfer while the western investment environment remains
unfavorable. All these bottlenecks restrict the transfer
To overcome such barriers, Yang suggested that the government
create a precise industry transfer time-table while creating more
favorable tax policies to encourage domestic corporations to move
The Five-Year Program was approved at a State Council executive
meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on December 8, 2006. According to
the program, the 2006-2010 period will see new breakthroughs come
in the fields of infrastructure construction and ecological
protection including improvements to the transportation network and
At a press conference, on March 1, 2007, Wang Jinxiang, vice
minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),
further encouraged foreign investors to "go west".
"The western region enjoys more favorable policies and has more
fields opened up to foreign investors than the rest of China.
Foreign investors should grasp the opportunities," said Wang.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Wu Nanlan, March 5, 2007)