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Hubei aims to double GDP by 2016

14 March 2012
Hubei is to accelerate its efforts to attract foreign investment in a bid to double its GDP by 2016, said the province’s Communist Party chief, Li Hongzhong. Hubei is one of a number of inland provinces aiming to take manufacturing capacity from the more expensive eastern coastal area, and Mr Li said “the time has come for Hubei to leapfrog in its development”.

In his opinion, industrial migration will accelerate because this province of 60m people has a huge amount of cheap, yet high-quality labour and abundant natural resources.

Another province to benefit from the westward shift in manufacturing is Henan, where the number of workers migrating to other provinces has decreased from a high of 17m in 2006 to 12.2m last year, according to Kong Lingchen, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, speaking during the recent NPC session. Mr Kong said that more and more rural residents in Henan are choosing to work in factories near their hometowns rather than migrating to other provinces.

For example, Foxconn Technology Group, which makes Apple iPhones and iPads in China, set up a manufacturing base in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, in 2010. It employs more than 130,000 workers, of which some 123,000 are from Henan, according to a report by China News Service.

Tang Dazhi, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said fewer social problems would occur, such as the negative impact on children’s education, if workers could find jobs near their hometowns.

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