Shanxi finds economic driver beyond coal

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After a slow start in the first quarter, Shanxi Province's economic growth rate had rallied to surpass the national average after three quarters in 2017. This was thanks to a transformational development trend, as the province finds economic drivers in sectors beyond coal.

People are shopping at a mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. [File photo]
People are shopping at a mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. [File photo]

Over the first three quarters of 2017, Shanxi's service industry contributed to 57.2 percent of its GDP growth, 16.7 percent higher than the industrial sector. Of all industries above the designated scale (enterprises with annual revenue reaching 20 million yuan or more), the industries other than coal contributed to 64.8 percent of the province's industrial growth. 

This growth occurred while the province shut down 27 coalmines with a total production capacity of 22.65 million tons in 2017.

Meanwhile, in the first 11 months of 2017, the power consumption of non-coal industries rose 11.7 percent year-on-year, and the power consumption of non-energy industries rose 13.3 percent year-on-year, both of which are above the average growth rate of power consumption in Shanxi's industries. 

The scale of emerging industries is also expanding. In the first 11 months of 2017, the scale of industrial and strategic emerging industries rose 10.6 percent year-on-year, and the output of new energy automobiles increased by 3.9 times. 

Start-up companies and technological innovations had boosted the economy. In the first three quarters of 2017, 298,000 new companies were founded in Shanxi, rising 20.8 percent year-on-year, including 936 companies identified as high-tech companies. 

Lending a hand to these new economic drivers, the provincial government helped to establish 30 provincial innovation platforms and 71 business incubators. 

It further optimized the structure of investment. In the first 11 months of 2017, the growth rate of investment in industrial technique upgrading had sped up, taking up 14.3 percent more than previously in the province's investment portfolio. The amount of investment in high-tech industry reached 21.96 billion yuan, a rise of 16.9 percent, including a rise of 17.3 percent in high-tech manufacturing investment and a rise of 16.8 percent in high-tech service investment.

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