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Beijing on Rapid Development Track
Beijing's social development ranked top among the key cities around China in 2001, according to a report from the capital city's municipal statistics bureau.

Bureau Director Liu Jigang said that Beijing's social development comprehensive index, a focal indicator for economic progress, recorded 154.83 points last year, up 9 percent from the previous year and 76 percent higher than the country's average level.

Experts attribute it to the growth of fixed assets investment and consumption, industrial structure optimization and slight export increases despite the world economic slowdown.

Local fixed assets investment reached 122.72 billion yuan (US$14.79 billion) in 2001, 25.3 percent more than that in 2000.

The growth rate of non-State and real estate sectors skyrocketed to 46.3 percent and 50.1 percent respectively.

Last year, consumption volume totaled 159.35 billion yuan (US$19.2 billion), 10.4 percent higher than in 2000.

Furthermore, the hot spots for consumption were personal residences, traveling, telecommunication equipment, personal computers and automobiles.

"Winning the bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, hosting the 2001 Universiad and China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) enhanced investors' and consumers' confidence, which further stimulated domestic demand," Liu said.

In 2001, the industrial value of the municipality's high-tech industry amounted to 26.36 billion yuan (US$3.18 billion), up 17.6 percent over that for the previous year. The high-tech industry accounted for 31.2 percent of the city's industrial sector as a whole.

Transportation logistics, chain retailing and franchising businesses have become increasingly prosperous in Beijing's services industry, whose value totaled 166.09 billion yuan (US$20.01 billion) last year, a 10.2 increase from that for 2000 and making up 58.9 percent of the city's gross domestic product (GDP).

Chen Jian, a researcher with the policy study office under the Beijing municipal government, said that concentrating on the high-tech and services industries may be a sound and sustainable development strategy for Beijing, given the city's status as an international metropolis and China's capital

(China Daily January 24, 2002)

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