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Hebei posts steady, sound growth

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang Updated: 2022-08-10

Hebei province has seen steady and sound economic development over the past decade, with key national strategies being implemented smoothly, senior officials said on Tuesday.

The province's 2021 gross domestic product stood at more than 4 trillion yuan ($592 billion), compared with 2.3 trillion yuan in 2012, Ni Yuefeng, Hebei's Party secretary, said on Tuesday at a news conference in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital.

The province's growth rates in major economic indicators in the first half of the year surpassed the national average, Ni said.

He said that in the past decade, key national strategies have brought about unprecedented opportunities for Hebei's development. In addition, the province's efforts to promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and to accelerate the construction of the Xiong'an New Area, and the co-hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have yielded fruitful results.

Nearly 40,000 enterprises and institutions have been relocated to Hebei from neighboring Beijing and Tianjin. This is one of the major moves in the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which was initiated in 2014 as a national strategy.

Aerial photo taken on February 25, 2022 shows night view of Rongdong district in Xiong'an New Area in North China's Hebei province. [Photo/IC]

The Xiong'an New Area in Hebei, an innovation hub established in 2017, has recorded total investment of more than 430 billion yuan, Ni said, adding that the area has seen 59 new projects start construction since the beginning of this year.

Zhangjiakou, which successfully co-hosted the 2022 Winter Games with Beijing earlier this year, is making full use of the legacy of the Games, including its venues.

The Games have prompted 30 million people in the province to take part in winter sports, Ni said.

While developing its economy, the province has greatly improved its environment over the past decade, with comprehensive measures carried out to improve its air and water quality, said Hebei Governor Wang Zhengpu, who also attended the news conference on Tuesday.

The number of days with good air quality in Hebei increased to 269 in 2021 from 149 in 2013, and days with heavy air pollution were reduced from 73 to nine, he said.

"Residents used to be eager to have ample food and clothing, but now they are paying more attention to good environment like blue skies," Wang said.

Ni said that the per capita disposable income of residents in Hebei's rural areas increased to 18,179 yuan in 2021 from 8,081 yuan in 2012.

More than 2.32 million people who used to live in poverty in 7,746 villages in Hebei are no longer living in poverty, Ni said. "This is a start for new lives," he said, adding that the province is vigorously promoting rural vitalization.