Tibet’s economic development best in western regions

Staff members serve passengers on the Fuxing bullet train on the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, June 25, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Tibet Autonomous Region experienced steady economic growth in 2021, with GDP reaching 200 billion yuan ($ 32 billion), an increase of about 7% from last year, Yan Jinhai said on Tuesday. , president of the regional government, during the presentation of the government activity report. at the fifth session of the 11th People’s Congress of the region.

In the past year, the per capita disposable income of urban residents has increased by 13% and that of rural residents by 14%, ranking first in the western regions of China, Yan said.

The value added of industries above a designated size increased by more than 11% in 2021, while retail sales of consumer goods increased by 10%.

“The region’s economic development maintained good momentum in 2021. It did not report any cases of COVID-19 and the market was functioning stable and orderly,” Yan said.

With the modernization of infrastructure, a highway between the capital, Lhasa, and the city of Nagchu in the north was opened, almost all townships and villages between the two places became accessible by road, with road mileage exceeding 120,000. kilometers at the end of last year. year.

The Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway was commissioned in June, connecting the regional capital to Nyingchi via Lhokha and allowing Fuxing high-speed trains to run on the plateau for the first time.

Yan said that this year, the region expects GDP growth of 8%, along with per capita disposable income growth of over 8% for urban residents and over 10% for rural residents.

“We will continue to work hard to keep the region’s economic progress within a reasonable range,” Yan said. “We will maintain a stable and healthy economic environment.”

Kalsang Drolma, an economist at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing, said the region’s GDP reached 100 billion yuan in 2015, and the fact that it reached an additional 100 billion yuan in growth in just six years is a miracle.

“These numbers reflect the growing trend of economic development in Tibet despite the impact of COVID-19, which is ravaging the world. It also shows that Tibet is on the right track to follow socialism and a modernized development path with Chinese characteristics and shows the will of the region. unique characteristics, ”said Kalsang Drolma.

Financial support from the central government is the main driver of this breathtaking transformation, investments in fixed assets also remain important and the efficiency of these investments has increased, she added. “Another driving force behind Tibet’s positive economic growth is consumption growth.

“The economic structure is continuously optimized, characteristic industries are continuously improved and more energy has been released to promote the transformation of the region’s economy from high volume to high quality,” she said. .

Tenzin Dondrub, a Tibetan resident of Nagchu City, is a barometer of the region’s rapid economic and social development, and he praises the changes in transportation over the decades.

“Twenty years ago, without proper railways or highways, it took more than 8 hours from my hometown of Nagchu to the regional capital Lhasa, and the roads were terrible,” said the 56-year-old.

“After the rail and motorway services have started in recent years, it takes less than four hours, and it’s much faster and safer now,” he said. “I work in Lhasa, but I come home more often now because it is more convenient.”

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