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Tibet Reports 7% GDP Growth in Q1

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The gross domestic product of Tibet Autonomous Region shot up 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to a press conference held on Friday.

The region's GDP hit 7.95 billion yuan, according to Wu Jianhua, spokesman for the Statistics Bureau of Tibet and the General Survey Team of Tibet under the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

Wu said that Tibet has fully implemented plans for the undertaking of key projects, distributed government shopping coupons, and increased financing to environmental protection, agriculture, forestry, irrigation, medical care and education.

Those measures have injected vigor into the region's economic development and enabled Tibet to meet its annual economic growth rate targets, Wu said.

In terms of agriculture, all departments concerned in Tibet have effectively carried out policies to support and benefit farmers, adjusted planting structures and focused on developing industries with local characteristics.

In industry, the added value scored by enterprises of scale reached 325.92 million yuan in the first quarter, up 8.4 percent year on year.

In transportation, the total volume of freight carried reached 964,300 tons, a 13.3 percent rise over the same period last year. The total volume of passengers carried totaled 1.29 million persons.

The total investment in fixed assets came to 1.17 billion yuan, 27.5 percent more than in the same period of 2008.

Total exports and imports amounted to US$71.27 million, and showed a tendency toward faster growth. Total retail sales of consumer goods were 3.57 billion yuan, up 27.5 percent year on year.

Tibet Autonomous Region had received 139,038 tourists by the end of March, with 5,160 overseas visitors and the rest being domestic ones. It thus earned revenue of 128.63 million yuan from tourism, with foreign exchanges accounting for US$2.8 million.

Tibet's fiscal revenue increased by 8.2 percent during that period to 569 million yuan. At the end of March, savings deposits in the region's banking system were 85.11 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, the per-capita disposable income of urban residents was 3,254 yuan, an 11.7 percent increase. The per-capita cash income of farmers and herders reached 480 yuan, up 13.4 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2009)