Guangzhou sets trillion-yuan GDP target for 2011
Mayor looks beyond the economy and focuses on livelihoods
Guangzhou has set a goal for gross domestic product to reach 1 trillion yuan in 2011, giving a per capita GDP of US$13,000.
The goal was announced by Mayor Zhang Guangning in his annual work report to the Guangzhou People's Congress, which opened yesterday.
Mr Zhang said that this year alone, GDP was targeted to grow by 12 per cent from the 'more than 600 billion yuan' recorded last year. Fixed-asset investment was expected to grow by 8 per cent, exports by 12 per cent and farmers' incomes by 7 per cent.
Guangzhou's economy grew 14.7 per cent last year, while per capita GDP was US$7,800. Farmers' incomes rose 10 per cent to 7,788 yuan, while overall wages rose 7 per cent to 36,221 yuan.
Shifting from his usual focus on economic development and infrastructure projects to support growth, Mr Zhang highlighted problems directly affecting the livelihood of residents this year and dwelled on measures to address them.
He pledged to provide better housing for 5,643 households with living space of less than 10 square metres per person this year, and to resolve the housing needs of 84,600 middle- and low-income households by 2010. He also pledged to implement a review of teachers' salaries in accordance with the law.
On the security front, Mr Zhang said the city would finish installing surveillance cameras in all communities to help cut crime.
He said while Guangzhou had done well in the past four years, its development was challenged by difficulties in restructuring the economy, weakness in innovation, the gap between rural and urban development, and the need to deepen reform of the state sector.
A delegate to the congress, Huangpu district party boss Chen Xiaogang , said Guangzhou had experienced its most rapid period of growth during the past four years, and the government had been tested by serious challenges such as Sars and incidents relating to the development of democracy and the rule of law.
'I think that the performance of the ... government is quite outstanding. The government, from the beginning, placed management at a very high level, making it different from previous governments,' he said.
'At the grass-roots level, there is consensus. We all understand that we don't just build a modern city, but have to manage it. With money we can build anything, but if we do not manage it, what we build is a heap of rubbish.'
Mr Chen said that being a relatively open city, Guangzhou faced greater pressure and difficulties in urban management, which made up 70 per cent of the government's work.
Earlier this month, Guangzhou's statistics bureau denied a report that the city's GDP per capita had reached US$10,000 last year, stressing the calculation was flawed.
Fixed-asset investment +8pc
Farmers' incomes +7pc