Growth still sought, but by new means

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Deemed to be the largest provincial-level economy in China in the past 22 years, Guangdong has set its annual economic growth goal at about 8 percent for the next five years, which is slightly higher than the national average though lower than the goals in many other provinces.

"We intend to place even more emphasis on transforming our economic development plan," Huang Huahua, the provincial governor, said in a recent interview.

Although the GDP of Guangdong has outgrown that of Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Huang cited several reasons why the current plan could prove unsustainable.

"External and internal demands are not well coordinated in the economic growth," he said. "The province is at the bottom and middle of the world's industrial chain and lacks important technologies and high-end talents."

"It faces remarkable constraints from both the environment and its supply of resources, and has a serious need to save energy and cut emissions," Huang said.

Aiming to be the leading province in innovation, Guangdong plans to spur domestic demand and hasten a transformation of its foreign trade and investment sectors, he said. Those changes are to take place from 2011 to 2015, the years covered by the province's 12th Five-Year Plan.

Huang Huahua is governor of Guangdong province. Huang said that according to a report by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Guangdong ranked second of all Chinese provinces in innovation in the past three years. He said the service sector should account for 48 percent of the province's GDP by 2015, while high-tech industries should contribute 26 percent of the value added to locally made products.

Authorities will continue to give encouragement to businesses engaged in the processing trade, which imports raw materials and makes them into products for export. That industry has been dealt a heavy blow by the global economic downturn.

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