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China News

Region maintains momentum despite economic crisis       Updated:2009-05-19 13:24

BEIJING, May 19 -- While the Chinese economic growth has slowed during the global economic downturn, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region is maintaining strong momentum, Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the Ningxia regional government, told China Daily in a recent interview.

He predicted the region's GDP in 2009 will grow by more than 10 percent year-on-year, about 2 percentage points higher than the expectation for the entire nation

Wang said his confidence is in part based on achievements last year. "The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the autonomous region. We are glad to see the anniversary was celebrated with a number of breakthroughs," Wang said.

One was the region's GDP surpassing the 100 billion yuan mark for the first time to hit 107 billion yuan, a growth of 12 percent from the previous year.

"It was also the 10th consecutive year that our region had a higher growth rate than the national average," Wang added.

Other breakthroughs in 2008 included total length of expressways in the region reaching 1,000 km and installed power generating capacity surpassing 10 million kW.

Wang said "the most exciting news is that the average income of rural and urban residents in 2008 increased at the highest rates in almost 30 years".

"Without the global economic slowdown, we could have higher than 12 percent growth," Wang said, admitting that the impact of the crisis was felt in Ningxia since September 2008.

Local statistics show that in January the region's GDP only grew 5.6 percent from the same period of last year.