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Tibetan Entrepreneurs Benefit from Preferential Policies

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Dawa Dondrup, a former van driver, is now the boss of his own business in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, a company with more than 4 billion yuan (US$580 million) of total assets.

His Tibetan Indigenous Industry Co., Ltd, founded in 2004, processes and sells products ranging from wild walnut oil and ginseng to mineral water sourced at an altitude of 5,000 meters.

The company's turnover totaled 100 million yuan last year, up 35 percent year-on-year.

Its turnover was growing by 120 percent annually, said Dawa Dondrup, a native Tibetan and president of the Lhasa-based firm.

He attributed his success to the central government's preferential policies that have helped foster Tibet's private sector.

"If not for these policies, it's hard to imagine how a private company could survive and prosper in Tibet, where small businesses traditionally lack funds and people with experience," said Dawa Dondrup.

Like other private firms in Tibet, his company enjoys a low loan interest rate of 1.08 percent and business tax is only 6 percent of the company's total revenue, compared with 17 percent for businesses in China's inland provinces.

The company also gets special funds from the government to train employees and upgrade facilities.

Thanks to these preferential policies, Tibet's private sector contributed 73 percent to the region's total 3 billion yuan of tax revenue last year, the regional government said in its annual work report.

Dawa Dondrup said he hoped more Tibetans would benefit from the good economic climate. "At least 80 percent of my employees are Tibetans from poor rural families," he said.

Last year they earned an average annual income of 30,000 yuan, much higher than the average income of Tibetan farmers, which was 3,589 yuan.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2010)

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