Tibet Expects New Upsurge in Development

Xinhua, 27 November 2001

LHASA, November 27 (Xinhua)—Chinese analysts have said that southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will have another upsurge in development as an increasing amount of money is poured into the area.

Analysts have based their predictions on a series of central government and local government policies benefiting other parts of China.

According to official sources, China's other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as well as the central government will spend as much as 70 billion yuan (8.4 billion U.S. dollars) in Tibet over the next five years.

This will help ensure an annual growth rate of over 12 percent in Tibet, analysts say.

Meanwhile, the central government will carry out a number of supporting policies aimed at promoting development in economics, education, science and technology, and infrastructure.

Local experts believe this will exert even greater benefits than direct investment.

The central government will continue to provide financial subsidies as compensating measures against the negative impact of price increases in Tibet due to the implementation of the State's major price adjustment policies.

Commercial banks in the country will provide loans to Tibet with interest rates 2 percent lower than that of the national standard.

Experts point out that though Tibet now lags behind in resources development, it boasts great potential for both domestic and overseas investors.

Tibet's reserves of solar energy, wind energy and water resources rank as one of the largest in the country. Proven deposits of mineral resources have amounted to over 650 billion yuan (about 78.3 billion U.S. dollars).

Currently, Tibet has six pillar industries, namely tourism, Tibetan medicine, organic products, agricultural product processing and handicrafts, mining and construction materials.