Premier stresses reform, innovation in revitalizing northeast rust belt
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presides over a State Council meeting on the rejuvenation of old industrial bases in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2016. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday that China was determined to use reform and innovation to rejuvenate its northeast rustbelt region.
Expediting the revitalization of the northeast is crucial to China's wider economic restructuring push, regional development and the people's well-being, said Li, who chaired a State Council meeting on the rejuvenation of old industrial bases.
The provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang in the northeast were among the first areas in China to become industrialized, featuring traditional industries including steel, automobiles, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and petroleum refining.
However, this once robust industrial base is bearing the brunt of a more-acute slowdown than the rest of the country, trailing well behind in terms of GDPgrowth.
Noting that the northeast should reverse the downward trend, Premier Li stressed the importance of promoting employment, improving people's well-being and maintaining social stability in the northeast.
It is important to encourage private investment into the northeast and efforts should be made to actively develop the service industry and new growth points including elderly care and tourism, said the premier.
Local governments should create an open and fair business environment and ease approval procedures, delegate power to lower levels and improve services, he said.
He called on local governments to advance the reform of state-owned enterprises, accelerate industrial upgrades and cut overcapacity. The private sector should also be offered support.
The northeastern region should make the most of the government's innovation and entrepreneurship drive to turn innovation into a major source of development, said Li.
To promote innovation, he underscored the need to promote the "Internet Plus" initiative, the development of advanced equipment manufacturing, modern agriculture and international capacity cooperation.[ Editor: Fanhua ]