Innovation, green growth drive Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development: index report

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China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region scored higher on a development barometer in 2020 backed by innovation and green transformation, official data showed.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regional development index stood at 119.33 points in 2020, up from 118.98 points in 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figure represented average annual growth of 3.22 points from 2014 to 2020, NBS data showed.

Metrics of the index, first introduced in 2016, were adjusted this year to reflect the objectives and focuses in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The base year was shifted from 2010 to 2014.

Sub-readings of green development and innovative development led the overall uptick in the index from 2014, scoring 140.81 and 131.87 points, respectively, said the NBS.

In breakdown, the region now enjoys better air quality and higher energy efficiency than in 2014. The average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that causes smog, fell 51 percent from 2014. The three localities saw each of their energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) decrease by around a quarter compared to 2014.

The region's stepped-up support for innovation in recent years proved to be fruitful. The ratio of research and development spending to GDP grew from 3.48 percent in 2014 to 3.99 percent in 2020, while patents authorized per 100 million yuan (about 15.7 million U.S. dollars) of R&D spending rose 61.8 percent during the same period.

China rolled out a plan in 2015 for the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Progress has been made in many fields including environmental protection, public services and transport.

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