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Vice Premier Stresses People's Housing, Health Care Needs

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang had urged local governments to turn people's potential consumption, from housing and health care needs, into real spending in their future efforts to stimulate the economy.

Li said during his tour in east China's Fujian Province from November 20 to 22 that projects to improve people's living conditions should be the focus of the country's latest economic stimulus plans to boost domestic demand.

"Housing projects for low-income residents can not only meet these people's strong desires to improve housing conditions, but also give a boost to urban and rural consumption," he said after visiting a low-rent residential area in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian.

"These projects can also promote related sectors like construction and building materials," the vice premier said. "Such a long industry chain will have a powerful impact on boosting the demands and stimulating the economy."

He asked local governments to speed up the construction and renovation of smaller hospitals in towns and communities to put more people under the umbrella of proper medical care, after talking to patients and medical staff at a hospital in Huangshi Town of Putian City.

The vice premier also told local companies to actively adapt to the changing economic environment by diversifying their products and exploring markets both at home and abroad, while he was inspecting production at several export-oriented companies in the booming coastal province.

In addition, he urged local governments to assist companies to overcome difficulties and come up with more measures to help them explore the market.

He said the province, which faces Taiwan across the Taiwan Straits and receives more investment from Taiwan than elsewhere in the country, should continue to boost trade and economic cooperation between both sides of the strait.

(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2008)

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