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Tibetan Economy
· Fast Development
· Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Forestry
· Industry and Building Industry
· Investment in Fixed Assets
· Domestic Trade
· Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
· Banking and Insurance

Before the peaceful liberation in 1951, Tibet was a land-locked region without any modern industry. The locals lived on livestock breeding, and also on farming and handicraft business. After 1951, Tibet received financial and material support from the Central Government for the construction of key projects. In the 1980s, the Central Government organized national support for Tibet in terms of talent, materials, funding and technology. This was coupled with a special support geared to stimulate the further development of Tibetan economy and improvement of people's livelihood.

Fast Development
Through construction over the past five decades, especially the last 20-odd years of reform and opening up, the Tibetan economy has gradually evolved from a structure dependent on "blood transfusion" to one capable of "producing blood." In 1988, the "zero" record in local financial revenue was broken. Tibet's financial revenue exceeded 100 million yuan in 1992 and approached 200 million yuan the next year. Tibet's financial revenues reached 1.199 billion yuan in 2004, a rise of 19.5 percent over the previous year. This includes ordinary budgeted income amounting to 1.002 billion yuan, up 22.9 percent. Of the ordinary budgeted income, the added value rose by 14.5 percent, business tax 8.5 percent, and local financial income as a percentage of local financial revenues was 5.7 percent.
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Forestry
The plains drained by the Yarlung Zangbo, Jinshajiang, Lancangjiang and Nujiang rivers are known as the granaries of the plateau. In 1952, the cultivated area in Tibet was 160,000 hectares, producing 155,000 tons of grain. Now, the cultivated area has expanded to 230,000 hectares. Main crops in Tibet include highland barley, wheat, pea, broad bean, potato, rape and beet. Some areas also grow rice, corn, soybean, green bean, peanut, tobacco, Chinese cabbage, spinach, turnip, buckwheat and garlic.
Industry and Building Industry
Electric power, mining, light industry and textiles, and handicrafts constitute the four major industries of the Tibet Autonomous Region which has been witnessing fast economic development ever since late 1978, when the Central Government introduced the reform and opening program.
Investment in Fixed Assets
In 2004 the amount of fixed assets investment reached 16.844 billion yuan, an increase of 21.5 percent. This included 2.133 billion yuan raised publicly, an increase of 88.9 percent.
Domestic Trade
In 2004, retail sales of consumer goods reached 6.37 billion yuan, an increase of 9.3 percent over the previous year. This broke down into 2.824 billion yuan of sales in urban areas, an increase of 8.3 percent; 3.545 billion yuan of sales in counties and places below the county level, an increase of 10 percent. Of the total, 5.038 billion yuan came from wholesale trade, an increase of 8.2 percent; 970 million yuan came from restaurant business, an increase of 18.7 percent; and 362 million yuan from other businesses, an increase of 2.1 percent.
Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
In foreign trade, Tibet is moving from the former system of mainly small scale barter trade to large scale deals in multiple forms. In the past, Tibet primarily exported animal by-products and other primary products to India and Nepal; today, however, it also exports intensively processed products to more than 20 areas, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. This is progress never seen before. In 2004, the import and export value hit US$223.55 million, an increase of 38.4 percent over the previous year. This includes US$130.09 million of exports, an increase of 6.9 percent; and US$93.46 million of imports, an increase of 140 percent. In 2004, Tibet exported US$84.77 million worth of products to Nepal, an increase of 12.6 percent; US$23.04 million worth of products to Hong Kong, an increase of 170 percent; and US$5.13 million worth of products to India, an increase of 3.5 percent.
Banking and Insurance
The Tibet Autonomous Region has initially formed a modern financial system, in which the People's Bank of China is the leader, the Agricultural Bank of China and the China Construction Bank are the mainstays, and other financial institutions play their own specialized roles. In the whole region, there are about 700 financial institutions at various levels, plus four insurance companies.
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