Top coal province looks to hi-tech industries

North China's Shanxi Province, which accounts for one-third of the nation's total coal output, has achieved rapid economic growth over the past four years as it develops its traditional industries and branches out into new areas.
Investment in the province's key industries, including coal, coke, metallurgical and power, has increased 40 percent annually since 2003. Other industries in the province, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and construction machinery, have also seen increases of over 30 percent in investment, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Shanxi is also developing its coal industry in the coal-to-oil and coal-to-chemical sectors, according to the local government. And the province will continue to close small coal mines using outdated technology.
The province plans to develop other industries, especially those that use advanced technologies and environmentally friendly solutions, said the local government.
It has kicked off a number of projects since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convened in 2002, said the NBS. From 2003 to 2006, the province has developed 105 projects involving investments of over 1 billion yuan each. Total investment in these projects is 256.18 billion yuan (US$34.1 billion), and 49 of them have been completed.
In the past four years, the fixed-assets investment of the province has increased from 83.83 billion yuan to 232.15 billion yuan. In the first half of the year, fixed-assets investment was 90.08 billion yuan, an increase of 24.9 percent on the previous year, said the NBS.The province has also seen active foreign investment in the past four years.

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