China Development Bank to offer 2 trillion yuan in loans for central region
Yellow Crane Tower, or Huanghelou, a landmark in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. /CFP

Yellow Crane Tower, or Huanghelou, a landmark in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. /CFP

The China Development Bank plans to issue two trillion yuan ($310 billion) in loans to the country's central region for priority projects during the national 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

The funds will support industrial modernization, rural-urban coordination, ecological development and transport infrastructure improvements, the bank said.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the bank issued 2.7 trillion yuan in loans to the central region, focusing on supporting advanced manufacturing, major infrastructure, ecological and environmental protection, poverty alleviation, and rural revitalization.

Growth momentum in central region

Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference that the region enjoys robust growth momentum and can achieve high-quality development.

During the last plan period, the region recorded an average annual economic growth rate of 8.6 percent, ranking first among the four regions in the country, Cong said. The area sustained its economic growth in the first half of this year, with its total gross domestic product reaching 11.8 trillion yuan。

The central region includes Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan provinces. Its permanent population is nearly 365 million, accounting for more than a quarter of China's total.

In July, the country issued a guideline on promoting the high-quality development of the region in the new era, detailing measures to promote the area's economic growth, scientific and technological innovation, urbanization, green development, opening-up and people's well-being.

Deng Xiangyang, vice governor of Anhui Province, said the provincial government would leverage its advantages in technological innovation and contribute to the development of the whole region.

Building on its current technology edges, Anhui would strive to break new ground in cutting-edge technologies such as quantum information, thermonuclear fusion, and advanced light sources while building itself into an influential technological innovation center, said Deng.

Yin Meigen, vice governor of Jiangxi, said the province would promote opening-up at a higher level. The province, neighboring the opening-up vanguards of Zhejiang and Guangdong, pledged efforts to build its open economy pilot zone with high standards and quality. It also vowed to optimize its business environment and make full use of national development strategies like the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development.

Shanxi, a coal-rich province, puts its focus on the reform of the energy industry. It would double down on meeting carbon-emission intensity targets set by the central government, improve energy supply quality, and cut pollution and carbon emissions in key areas, said Vice Governor Wei Tao.

According to the July guideline, the region should put a modern economic system in place by 2035, basically accomplish socialist modernization, and make substantial headway in common prosperity. 

(With input from Xinhua)

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