At a press conference held Sunday morning, March 7, several members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) talked about methods and ideas for revitalizing the old industrial bases in northeast China. During the conference, held in the Great Hall of the People, Wang Taozhi, a CPPCC member from Heilongjiang Province and director of the Provincial United Front Work Department, talked about the conditions for development of Heilongjiang.
Wang Taozhi pointed out that Heilongjiang has many advantages for further development, such as abundant resources. Its cultivated and forest areas and petroleum reserves all rank first in China. With a cultivated area of 9.3 million hectares, the average grain output is around 60 billion kilograms. The total forested area is 19.2 million hectares, or 42 percent of the land. The petroleum output reached 50 million tons annually for 27 consecutive years, although it dropped to 48.4 million tons last year. Coal reserves and water resources in Heilongjiang are also plentiful. The province's natural environment is also a sound foundation for developing ecological tourism and "green food" industry.
"As everyone here can see, I am fit because I grew up by eating green food," smiled Wang.
Wang went on to say that Heilongjiang Province shares a 3,045-kilometer border with Russia. With 25 national grade-one ports, it has obvious advantages in economic and trade cooperation with Russia.
Heilongjiang is fairly sound economically, said Wang, with its GDP ranking 13th in the nation and per capita GDP ranking 10th. The added value of large-scale industries ranks ninth. Many of the state-owned enterprises in the province have well-established connections with other parts of the country, which is important in reducing investment and seeing rapid results from further adjustment and reform.
Five of every 100 people in Heilongjiang are college-educated, said Wang. Students graduating from schools like the respected Harbin Polytechnic University are actively recruited by various enterprises while they are still in their third year of college. Wang added that there are also numerous state-certified technicians in such fields as welding, dairy and soybean production.
"Still, we are facing many difficulties and problems," said Wang. The market is somewhat sluggish. Traditional industries, and state-owned enterprises in particular, account for a comparatively large ratio. At present, SOEs account for 88 percent of the industrial capital in the province. The employment and re-employment difficulties are enormous. The development of the seven cities whose industries are based on natural resources have presented the greatest challenge: four have coal-based industries; two, forestry; and one, petroleum.
Wang said that the plan to develop Heilongjiang includes employing innovative systems and mechanization to take advantage of existing resources, leading to a new path of industrialization. "We will focus on construction of six industrial bases," said Wang. "One is an equipment manufacturing industry, with emphasis on improving conditions for manufacturing power generation, transportation and heavy equipment. The cities of Harbin and Qiqihar will be large, key bases for a modern equipment manufacturing industry."
Other industrial focuses in Heilongjiang will be petrochemicals, energy, food, medicine and forestry, Wang told the press.
Wang Taozhi, born December 1948, of Han ethnic group, native of Luan County, Hebei Province, member of the Chinese Communist Party;
1978 - 1989: staff of Harbin Planning Committee, staff and vice director of Infrastructure Department and director of Investment Department;
1989 - 1990: vice manager of Harbin Investment Company;
1990 - 1993: vice director of Harbin Planning Committee, vice general-commander of Gasification Project, director of Harbin municipal government's Beijing office, Party secretary;
1993 - 1997: vice general-secretary of Harbin municipal government, director of the Administrative Office and Planning Committee, Party secretary;
1997-2003: vice director, director of Harbin Planning Committee, and Party secretary;
Currently serving as member of the 10th CPPCC, vice chairman of Heilongjiang provincial people's political consultative conference, head of Provincial United Front Work Department.
(China.org.cn by Wang Qian March 7, 2004)