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Rural Areas Focus of Industrial Progress
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Many business opportunities have been created in the rural areas of Guangdong Province, where the provincial government is making greater efforts to develop the rural economy.

The southern Chinese province is speeding up construction of 18 industrial development zones in the rural areas, providing investment opportunities to both domestic and overseas investors.

In addition to industrial transfers from the prosperous Pearl River Delta (PRD), the industrial development zones are being urged to take steps to attract overseas investment.

With the construction of the industrial development zones, Guangdong's western, eastern and northern areas, where economic development lags behind the PRD region, will become the province's new production bases that will play an increasingly important role in its economic growth in the following years.

The industrial development zones will be able to reach an annual output of more than 260 billion yuan next year.

Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua met with Vice-Governor Tong Xing and mayors of major rural towns and economic experts in Heyuan city in northern Guangdong this month to discuss the development of the province's rural areas.

Many local governments in the rural areas have promised to encourage foreign businesspeople to invest in the rural industrial development zones, which have abundant land, natural resources and skilled workers, and offer preferential policies in land-use rights, taxation and granting of business certificates and loans.

According to Guangdong's development plan, the rural areas have been listed as the major areas for foreign investment in the 11th Five-Year Plan period.

The Guangdong governor has also promised to expand investment in infrastructure facilities to improve the investment climate.

Prosperous cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan have signed contracts to construct 287 projects with an investment of 17.98 billion yuan in the 18 industrial development zones.

(China Daily May 25, 2007)

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