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Li says Guangxi should boost competitive edge

By HU YONGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-09 07:19

Innovation and entrepreneurship needed, premier tells deputies

Li says Guangxi should boost competitive edge

Premier Li Keqiang listens to a report from Zhou Hongbo, mayor of Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, during the Guangxi delegation's deliberation on the Government Work Report on Wednesday, as Peng Qinghua, Guangxi Party chief, looks on. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]

Premier Li Keqiang called on the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to further open up and participate in international cooperation and competition when he joined a panel discussion with National People's Congress deputies from the region on Wednesday.

This should be achieved by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, which will upgrade traditional industries and transform the real economy, he said.

Guangxi is an important region for China's economic cooperation and trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Each year, the China-ASEAN Expo is held in Nanning, the region's capital, and attracts thousands of exhibitors from the 10 ASEAN countries.

From January to November last year, Guangxi's exports and imports with ASEAN countries increased by 1.6 percent compared with the same period in 2015, according to the region's Department of Commerce. Southeast Asian countries were once again Guangxi's biggest trading partner.

The region's gross domestic product hit 2 trillion yuan ($289.4 billion) last year, double that of 2011. However, the region still has 3.41 million people living in poverty in its outlying areas.

Li said Guangxi has witnessed long-term progress in social and economic development in recent years. He urged further efforts to fulfill the government's promise to improve the livelihoods of all people of different ethnic groups in the region, especially those who live in impoverished areas and near national borders.

Li said reform and opening-up will boost the momentum of economic and social development, and the government should streamline administration, removing powers it should not have, and focus on supervising areas it is meant to manage, he said.

The government should proactively provide services for enterprises and cultivate an environment of fair competition, Li added.

On Wednesday, four other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee-Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli-also joined discussions with NPC deputies.

In a group discussion with deputies of the Hainan delegation, Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, called on the province to improve its economic structure and accelerate the campaign to build an international tourism island while fully protecting its ecology.

During a meeting of the Hebei delegation, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli called on the province to firmly promote supply-side structural reform, upgrade its industries and strengthen environmental protection. He also called for solid preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which will be co-hosted by Beijing and Hebei's Zhangjiakou.

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