In 2022, the Tibet autonomous region overcame the impact of the pandemic, and maintained steady and positive growth of the industrial economy and digital economy, fulfilling the tasks set by the Communist Party of China committee and the people's government of the autonomous region, with its industrial added value registering rapid growth.
In the January-October period, the added value of the enterprises above designated size saw a year-on-year increase of 13.1 percent, 9.1 percentage points higher than the national average. In the January-September period, the added value of the autonomous region's digital economy hit 17.46 billion yuan ($2.53 billion), a rise of 7.5 percent over the same period of the previous year.
Policies drive economic growth
Throughout the year, the Department of Economy and Information Technology of the Tibet autonomous region promoted industry development and explored new growth opportunities in accordance with the requirements of the government of the autonomous region.
Since the beginning of 2022, the department had promulgated regulations on the promotion of the development of small- and medium-sized businesses, the plan for the development of stone material industry in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, the industrial development plan for the exploration of salt lake lithium resources and their comprehensive utilization, and more than 20 policy papers on supporting the development of mining, building materials, the processing of agricultural and animal products, new and high-tech manufacturing, and the digital economy. These efforts improved the policy system, which accordingly supported the stable and rapid growth of the region's industrial economy.
To minimize the impact of the pandemic, the department also promulgated and adopted financial support measures to reduce burdens of small- and medium-sized businesses, and optimized services to help enterprises overcome difficulties. Long-term service mechanisms, such as direct contact between officials of the department and prefecture/city governments, and list of problems faced by enterprises, were fully in operation, where 139 problems including electricity supply and blocked transportation were solved, helping enterprises resume production in an orderly manner.
Yang Fuyuan, executive of the Tibet Yuewang Tibetan Medicine Science and Technology Company, said: "Thanks to the coordination by related departments at the autonomous region and Lhasa municipal levels, our company resumed production on September 27, 2022. As of now, the production of saffron yeast, our main product, has reached 20,000 to 30,000 packs per day."
At present, 87 percent of the enterprises above designated size in the autonomous region have resumed production, and 47 enterprises have been included in the white list, indicating that they will get strong support from industrial supply chains at the autonomous region and lower level.
Industries accelerate growth pace
Since the beginning of 2022, the Department of Economy and Information Technology of the Tibet autonomous region had quickened its pace in promoting both quality and efficiency improvement of industries, with seven major sectors, including mining and Tibetan medicine, all registering accelerated growth.
In the mining sector, copper output in Tibet ranked first among all provincial-level regions throughout the country for the first time. The output value of the mining industry for the whole year was expected to hit 21 billion yuan. In the Tibetan medicine sector, Tibet Monkey Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd and the China Institute of Atomic Energy started construction of the Tibetan medicine irradiation sterilization project. The company's ten high-quality Tibetan medicines were included in the national essential drugs catalogue and the company was expected to generate 2.56 billion yuan in output value in 2022.
In the sector of agricultural and animal products processing, the COFCO set up a highland barley dried noodles project in Shigatse, with a designed annual output of 30,000 tons. The agricultural and animal products processing industry was expected to generate 1.89 billion yuan in output value. In 2022, the ethnic handicraft sector saw one person in the autonomous region awarded the title of national-level master of arts and crafts and 126 people awarded title of city/prefecture-level master of arts and crafts. The horse-head silver pot of King Songtsen Gampo, a piece of artwork by a master of arts and crafts in Tibet, was transformed into an NFT, the first in Tibet, and issued for sale. The sector was expected to register an output of 120 million yuan in 2022, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.
The new and high-tech manufacturing industry also maintained stable development, and the Great Wall computer equipped with Phytium eight-core CPUs debuted on the market. An assessment of the high-quality development of industrial zones and parks in the autonomous region was also carried out for the first time, and the Tibet-Qinghai (Zangqing) Industrial Park was certified as a national demonstration base of new-type industrialization, with 11 factories being certified as autonomous region-level green factories.
Digital economy opens a new chapter
In July, Lhasa successfully held a summit themed on "Digital Bridge across the Himalayas", which was the only city outside of Beijing to hold such a summit during the Global Digital Economy Conference 2022. In October, the big data center of the Tibet autonomous region was officially put into operation, filling the gap at the autonomous region level. In the era of the digital economy, Tibet has constantly optimized its planning and policy system, launched cooperation with several leading enterprises, and attracted many projects to settle in the autonomous region, leading to the rapid development of the digital economy.
It was estimated that the added value of the digital economy in Tibet would reach more than 20 billion yuan in 2022, a rise of 10 percent.
As part of the country's project of channeling more computing resources from the eastern areas to the less developed western regions, Tibet will make full use of its resource advantages to meet the needs of data computing in the eastern regions. During this process, effective measures will be taken to promote data flow between the eastern and western regions, and encourage related industries of data centers to move from the eastern region to the western, which will integrate Tibet autonomous region into the national development pattern and help the region achieve high-quality development.
At present, the operational rate of the Tibet e-government network remains at 99 percent or higher, and the number of 5G base stations has increased to 7,863. A regulation on the certification and management of key enterprises in the digital transformation was promulgated and 30 digital transformation projects have been cultivated. The 5G+ initiative has been applied to the sectors of mining and medical services, and more than 300 enterprises have been connected to the cloud and other digital platforms.
In the January-October period, the revenue of the software and information service industry in the autonomous region reached 1.95 billion yuan, an increase of 11 percent.
New ways are explored to better meet the peoples needs
Tibet is a place with high altitude and low atmospheric pressure. Cooking may not sound like a big thing, but it is part of everyday life for the people in the autonomous region. Therefore, the CPC committee and the people's government of the Tibet autonomous region have been focusing on the design and development of new cooking utensils that suit the conditions of the plateau.
Recently, a new type of multi-functional pressure cooker was successfully developed and tested in Tibet, winning high praise from the local people.
"The pressure cooker takes less time to cook, producing tasty beef and potatoes. It is easy to open and close", said Solange, a villager from Changlong town, Gamba county, Shigatse.
On Nov 20, Tibet Shangchu Cooking Utensil Science and Technology Co., Ltd. officially put into operation of its plateau-friendly cooking utensil project, with an annual output of one million cooking utensils.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, the Department of Economy and Information Technology of the autonomous region has allocated anti-pandemic supplies worth 284 million yuan to people in the region.
All the achievements demonstrate the determination of the autonomous region to overcome difficulties and forge ahead with economic and information development in Tibet in the new year.