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Tibet Leads Western China in Economic Growth
Tibet generated 10.8 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first three quarters of this year, a jump of 12.9 percent over the same period last year.

Though Tibet has a weak economic base and its take-off has lagged behind other autonomous regions and provinces in western China, its economy has developed rapidly over the last couple of years.

Tibet's GDP grew at an annual rate of 12 percent in the 1994-2001 period. It reported an annual economic growth rate of over nine percent from 1999 to 2001, said Lobsang Toinzhub, vice-chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional government.

He attributed the fast economic growth to the construction of numerous key projects in Tibet with investment from the central government.

Investment in fixed assets in Tibet totaled 8.5 billion yuan (US$1 billion) last year. Several key projects including the Nyingchi Airport and a regional road network to all counties are due to be completed in three years.

Marked progress has been made in transport, telecommunications, energy, water conservation and education. Tibet has pledged to setup key industries and make headway in increasing foreign trade, attracting foreign investment and boosting building materials production.

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2002)

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