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Beibu Bay urged to be more open
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Jia Qinglin, China's top political advisor, urged to expand and deepen opening-up when developing the newly-approved southwestern Beibu Bay economic zone Thursday in Beijing.

The officials should work to boost the local self-innovation capacity, transform its economic growth mode and upgrade its industrial structure, Jia said in a congratulation letter to the briefing on the development planning of the economic zone.

The zone in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is aimed at promoting the development of the western regions as well as coordinating the regional developments, he said in the letter.

Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said the economic zone would be of strategic importance in promoting the development of the country's Southwest and South and deepening the nation's cooperation with the ASEAN (Association of the South East Asian Nations) members.

To develop the zone, efforts should be made to improve the local infrastructures, optimize the industrial structure, save resources and protect environment, Zeng noted.

The zone will be built into the regional logistic base, the trade base, the processing and manufacturing center between China and the ASEAN members, according to the briefing.

With a population of 12.4 million, the economic zone covers 42,500 square kilometers of land, 130,000 square kilometers of sea and 1,595 kilometers of coastline.

In China's coastal regions, most economic activities are centered around three economic regions, the Pearl River Delta Region, the Yangtze River Delta Region, and the Bohai-ring Economic Zone. Economic activities in the Beibu Bay area are relatively backward.

China's 11th five-year program for Western Development has placed the Beibu Bay economic zone as one of the three economic development zones in the west which enjoy priority in economic development.

(Xinhua News Agency February 29, 2008)

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