China's southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region plans to invest heavily in 22 industrial projects to stimulate comprehensive economic development, according to the local authority.
The government will pool 21.17 billion yuan (about 3 billion US dollars) for 10 mining projects, four construction and building material enterprises, three medicine and food plants, and five industrial development zones in five years, Li Xia, the autonomous regional economic commission director, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
Among the selected projects, the mining sector will absorb 15.9 billion yuan and the industrial zones will take 3.45 billion yuan, according to Li, citing a government decision released at a local economic meeting held in Lhasa late last month.
The projects are expected to earn 18.28 billion yuan with an estimated profit of 5.11 billion yuan after they start operation before 2013. They will bring job opportunities for nearly 15,600 people.
According to the schedule, investment in the projects will reach 5.9 billion this year.
Industrial development in Tibet had remained inactive for a long time and the sector only accounted for 7.5 percent of the region's overall gross domestic product last year, official statistics showed.
The 22 projects are expected to speed up development of other industrial fields and the comprehensive economic growth, according to Li.
The launch of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in 2006, the first rail link between Tibet and the rest of China, has been a big step to greatly facilitating transport and communication in the landlocked region.
(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2008)