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High-speed Link to Boost Bottom Line
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Construction is expected to commence this year on two fast transport routes linking Southwest China and Guangdong's Pearl River Delta region, one of China's economic hubs.


They include a high-speed railway and an expressway, both from Guizhou's provincial capital of Guiyang to Guangzhou, Lin Shusen, the governor of Guizhou, said while attending the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC).


He said the projects would facilitate the development of logistics industry in the province.


"They'll also help move labor-intensive industries westwards from the Pearl River Delta region," Lin said.


The governor did not disclose the specific timetable for the high-speed railway, but said the Ministry of Railways had officially included it in its plan and "construction will start as soon as possible".


Designed to accommodate trains traveling at up to 250 kilometers per hour, the 820-kilometer tracks, with a budget of 69 billion yuan (US$8.9 billion), will cut the travel time between the two cities from 21 hours to less than 5 hours.


The 890-kilometer expressway would reduce the travel time on road from 24 hours to about 8 hours, according to Peng Boyuan, director of the Guizhou provincial bureau of communications, who is also in Beijing attending the NPC meeting.


He told China Daily that construction work on the four-lane expressway would "definitely" start within the year and be completed by 2010.


Peng said the Guizhou section of the expressway would be about 290 kilometers long, and cost about 25 billion yuan (US$3.22 billion). Most of the money would come from fundraising, and the rest from government subsidies.


He said the financial hurdles had been solved as banks had agreed to provide loans.


Because of a vast mountainous area, Guizhou's traffic system had not developed as fast as other provinces, and was an obstacle to optimum economic growth.


Last year, the gross domestic product (GDP) in Guizhou was about 216.5 billion yuan (US$27.8 billion), only 8 percent of that in Guangdong.


(China Daily March 13, 2007)


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