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Bright Future for Yangtze River Delta Tipped
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China's Yangtze River valley will have a bright future after the country enters the World Trade Organization (WTO), experts and officials said at a recent international symposium on Shanghai's development in the 21st century.

Over 140 top academics, experts and officials from home and abroad discussed regional development and cooperation in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta, saying it will lead economic growth in China and east Asia.

Chen Liangyu, mayor of Shanghai, said Shanghai will be one of the international economic, financial, trade and marine centers till 2020.

The new plan for Shanghai will feature the development of the Yangtze River Delta in a whole, and transportation, environmental protection and regional service industry in Shanghai will be emphasized, Chen said.

Fei Xiaotong, one of China's best known sociologists, said in his keynote speech that once the potential of Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta is fully tapped the region will become a main economic center for China and east Asia.

Other renowned academics and experts, including Sprio N. Pollalis, a professor with Design Technology and Management at Harvard Design School, and Li Shantong, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, attended the symposium and released relevant reports.

The Yangtze River Delta, the most developed area of China comprising Shanghai and several economically-prosperous provinces, contributes to 22 percent of China's GDP with a land area of 2.2 percent.

The symposium, held once every two years since 1998, is sponsored by the Shanghai Chinese Overseas Friendship Association and Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2002)

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