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Industrial City Pins Hopes on Real Estate Industry
Shenyang, one of the largest industrial bases in China, now plans to develop its fledgling real estate sector into a new industrial cornerstone.

This industrial city in northeast China's Liaoning province will invest 12 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion) in the real estate industry in the year, up 33.3 percent year-on-year.

The city government plans to support 20 large developers as flagships in the industry, while considering lower taxes for housing businesses.

Local experts attributed the government's big efforts to bolster the real estate industry to its languishing heavy industry that used to make up the lion's share of local GDP. Now the city has pledged to become the regional trade center of northeast China.

The transition from an industrial base to a trade center has provided good opportunities for the growth of the real estate industry.

In 2001, 18.61 million square meters of housing was sold in the city, for 21.88 billion yuan (US$2.64 billion), both increasing 80 percent over the figures for 1999.

Meanwhile, to further improve the environment, the city has invested heavily in afforestation. This year, 1.56 billion yuan (US$188 million) will be spent to plant trees and grass, adding 10 sq km of green coverage to the city.

According to local officials, the prices of housing in Shenyang are the lowest in the northeast as well as elsewhere in China.

To encourage fair competition between local and outside developers, the city will sell land-use rights in the forms of open bidding, auctions and open trading, instead of the previous under-the-table methods.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2002)

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