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Guangdong Eyes Huge Investment on Transport, Energy
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Guangdong Province plans to build 162 key projects this year involving a hefty investment of more than 105 billion yuan (US$13.13 billion), with top priority given to the transportation and energy industries.

Investment in transportation and energy projects will reach 39.4 billion yuan (US$4.93 billion) and 27.5 billion yuan (US$3.44 billion) respectively in 2006, accounting for more than 61 percent of the total investment.

Guangdong, one of the country's economic powerhouses, will begin construction of 11 new transportation projects before the end of the year, according to sources from Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission.

The province will complete construction of expressways stretching 170 kilometers in 2006, raising the total length of the province's express network to more than 3,300 kilometers by the end of the year.

The province's advanced roads network links major cities in Guangdong to bordering Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and other parts of the country, helping to expand economic ties between Guangdong and other provinces, regions and municipalities.

Guangdong also plans to build 22 energy projects within the year. Construction will begin on the new power plants soon, and will help Guangdong increase its electricity-generating capacity of more than 7.2 million kilowatts, narrowing the province's large electricity gap, sources from Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission said.

Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua said his province plans to construct 233 key projects in the next five years with a total cost of more than 1.5 trillion yuan (US$187.5 billion).

Of this sum, more than 1.1 trillion yuan (US$137.5 billion) will be spent during the 11th Five-Year Guidelines development period(2006-10), Huang told a conference in Guangzhou late last week.

These projects will focus on transportation, energy supply, water conservation and scientific innovation.

Huang urged relevant departments and cities in his province to work on expanding co-operation and further upgrading their infrastructure in the years ahead.

"Guangdong, which lacks raw materials and energies, relies heavily on its advanced infrastructure and facilities for economic development using foreign investment," Huang said.

An advanced expressway network will help Guangdong maintain its economic growth at a fast and sustainable pace and will ensure continued economic development in the years to come, Huang added.

Guangdong has set a goal to catch up with Taiwan Province by the end of 2010. Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.85 trillion yuan (US$356.8 billion) last year.

Guangdong's GDP is predicted to grow at an average of US$30 billion annually between 2006 and 2010.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou Metro Corporation has mapped out an ambitious five-year development plan.

Lu Guanglin, general manager of the corporation, said the Guangdong provincial capital would have a total of nine metro lines in service by the end of 2010. The underground tracks will stretch for 255 kilometers and will include 164 stations.

(China Daily April 4, 2006)

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