PRESIDENT Jiang Zemin has called for urgent efforts towards achieving eight per cent growth in gross domestic product this year. He has also stressed the importance of restructuring state enterprises and helping find new jobs for workers laid off in the process. Mr Jiang's comments came during a tour of factories in Chongqing that ended on Friday. Mainland media said the President was accompanied by Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao and Chongqing party secretary Zhang Delin. Mr Jiang said it was vital that domestic spending be boosted and economic efficiency improved if the eight per cent target was to be met. The development of hi-tech industries and infrastructure projects in agriculture, water conservation, transport, telecommunications and environmental protection must be sped up, he said. The overhaul of ailing state firms had to continue and the country's financial system must be revamped. He again called on all levels of government to work harder to pull the majority of state-owned enterprises out of difficulty within three years. He said efforts must include the provision of jobs for laid-off workers. Mr Jiang encouraged enterprises to diversify their operations to help generate jobs. The Government, meanwhile, would work to develop the service sector to provide more employment opportunities. 'We should encourage laid-off workers to establish their own businesses or become self-employed,' he said. Mr Jiang said the problem of rural poverty must be solved before the turn of the century, by developing the rural economy.