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Development stretches from 'mountains to sea'

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou| China Daily| Updated: September 27, 2022 L M S



Project upgraded

Since then, authorities in Zhejiang have taken a series of steps to upgrade the project and make it better meet the needs of high-quality development. One involves formulating customized and preferential policies for each of the 26 counties and districts in the mountainous areas, under which each place is encouraged to make the most of its existing conditions as well as its potential to find the most suitable path for future development.

For example, Chun'an county in Hangzhou, where Qiandao (or Thousand Island) Lake is located, will focus on the industry of bottled water and beverages, while Yunhe county in the city of Lishui will concentrate its efforts on producing wooden toys, which the county has already been exporting all over the globe.

A set of guidelines issued in July by provincial authorities to promote rural revitalization in these places calls for the implementation of 10 broad measures and various targeted submeasures. These include providing quality training to farmers to promote employment, sending more expert teams to these areas and developing at least one agricultural whole-industry chain worth a billion yuan in each of these counties and districts.

New progress has already been made.

Incomes increase

In 2021, the per capita disposable income of urban residents in the 26 counties and districts in the mountainous areas was 53,710 yuan — up 9.8 percent year-on-year and 0.6 of a percentage point higher than the provincial average — while for rural residents it was 27,619 yuan — up 11.1 percent year-on-year and 0.7 percentage point higher than the provincial average.

In the first half of 2022, the GDP of these places reached 343.2 billion yuan. That was up 3.2 percent year-on-year and 0.7 percentage point higher than the provincial average, finally bucking the trend that had seen it continuously lower over the years.

During the same period, the growth rates of fixed asset investment, total sales of consumer goods, and disposable income of residents in these counties and districts were also better than the provincial average.

The "mountain and sea coordination and collaboration project" and the accompanying policies have become an integral part of Zhejiang's institutional arrangements for its pursuit of common prosperity, said Yu Jianxing, president of Zhejiang Gongshang University and a leading expert on public administration and governance.

"Over the past two decades, the implementation of the project has laid a solid foundation for a more balanced development in Zhejiang," Yu said. "More significantly, it will serve as a model for regional coordination in other provinces."

Meanwhile, across Zhejiang, the urbanization rate has grown over the past 10 years, from 63.2 percent to 72.7 percent, and the income disparity between urban and rural residents has decreased.

Qi Xiao contributed to this story.


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