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Yunnan capital at center of booming regional business

Source:   Time:

 

 

The new Kunming International Airport, scheduled to begin operations at the end of next year, will be the fourth-largest aviation hub in China. Provided to China Daily

With its best-ever first-half economic performance, Kunming is flexing its muscles as the center of regional cooperation between China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Local statistics show that the capital of Yunnan had a GDP of 91 billion yuan in the first six months of this year, up 15.4 percent over the same period of 2009.

The growth was 4.3 percentage points higher than the national average and the highest in Kunming's history.

The achievement was even more impressive considering Kunming and other parts of Yunnan were hit by a severe drought at the beginning of the year.

The manufacturing sector, with a total industrial output value of 29.02 billion yuan and a year-on-year growth of 21 percent, is the star player in the local economy.

Strong consumer demand backed by a raft of stimulus measures - including subsidies for home appliances sold in the rural areas and small-displacement vehicles - helped drive the strong economic performance.

Sales of consumer goods in Kunming totaled 54.74 billion yuan in the first half, growing 19.9 percent from the same period last year.

The city's economy is also benefiting from the nation's western development strategy, regional cooperation programs and Yunnan's plan to developing a commercial transport passageway to neighboring countries and the Indian Ocean.

An important part of the go-west development initiative is to promote the opening up of frontier regions such as Yunnan through construction of infrastructure to facilitate trade and investment.

Kunming is now the starting point for several highways and railways linked to neighboring countries. Among the most important are a newly built expressway connected to Thailand and a Myanmar highway that follows the route of the famous Stilwell Road built during World War II.

Kunming is also an active player in the Greater Mekong Subregion program and the new China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

It has an ambitious plan to become a commodity distribution center and a prime investment destination connected to ASEAN countries.

The city's businesses now plan to build a number of "Kunming industrial parks" in neighboring Mekong River nations.

 

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