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Lhasa: GDP increased by 165 times in 50 years

By Zhu Shan Source:China Tibet News 2015-09-14

Lhasa, the capital city of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, is listed as the “happiest city” for seven consecutive years. Over the past five decades, Lhasa has witnessed the economic growth and the improvement of people’s living livelihood. Lhasa’s GDP has increased by 319 folds from 1965 to 2014. Lhasa’s per capita GDP in 2014 has grown 165 times more than 1965, an average annual increase of 11.1 percent.

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Wu Yasong, the deputy mayor of Lhasa, said that Lhasa has achieved leapfrog development in 50 years. Substantial improvements have been made in the people’s lives and their living standards. With an average annual increase of 11.1 percent, Lhasa’s GDP grown from 94 million yuan in 1965 to 34.75 billion yuan (5.5 bln U.S. dollars) in 2014, a 165-fold increase. Local fiscal revenues reached 6.5 billion yuan (1 bln U.S. dollars) at an average annual increase of 15.7 percent, a growth of 1,286 folds than 1965 that had 5.3 million yuan. 

At present, Lhasa’s economy are transforming from a closed economy to open economy gradually, from supply-based economy into business economy. Lhasa has already been in the socialist market economy with the rest of the country. Until Mar. of this year, there were 5,030 non-public enterprises with the registered capital of 22.5 bln yuan which was 8.3 folds than that of 2011. Enjoying the more active market, in 2014, the total volume retail sales was 18.03 bln yuan with an average annual increase of 14.8 percent, a growth of 881 folds than that of 1965, said by Wu Yasong.

After more than 50 years of development, modern industry has been established in Lhasa from scratch, and it has grown considerably in size. Today, Lhasa has a modern industrial system comprising energy, light industry, textile, food processing, folk handicrafts and traditional Tibetan medicine. The total industrial output value skyrocketed from 16.21 million yuan in 1965 to 9.2 bln yuan in 2014, a 567-fold increase. During the recent years, Lhasa, putting the people’s interests first and seeking green and sustainable development, has supported the tourism, culture and Land Green project.

Over the past five decades, basic industries such as energy and transportation are booming. In terms of transportation, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and Lhasa-Shigatse Railway have already been operated. The construction of the railway line connecting Sichuan to Tibet will be completed in 2030. Besides, Tibet’s first expressway opened to traffic in 2011, linking Lhasa and Gongga Airport which transports more than 2 million passengers annually. Currently, Lhasa has already developed a comprehensive transportation system including road, aviation, railway and pipeline transportation.

Lhasa only had 6 roads in the urban area that occupied 3 square kilometers. At present, with the development of Newu district, Dongcheng district and Dungkar district, the area of urban in Lhasa reached 70.29 square kilometers. In addition, modern infrastructures in urban area are being constantly improved, such as the Tibet exhibition center, central sport stadium and other major projects.

Moreover, with a 98% heating rate the project of heating in Lhasa has already been completed. 95.8 percent of urban residents are satisfied with this project. Besides, following the rules of energy-saving and emission reduction, Lhasa adopted the pilot application of new energy automobiles in public and police transport. The air quality index is always kept above 96 percent all year by strengthening the surveillance of PM 2.5. Lhasa always ranks the top three on the list of city enjoying the good air quality. 

Over the five decades, Lhasa has always given top priority to the improvement and security of people. In order to ensure the fruits of reform to benefit people from all ethnic groups in Tibet, Lhasa developed education first. According to Wu Yasong, since 2012, 116 public kindergartens have been built, which scattered all towns, counties and villages in Lhasa. In addition, in the stage of compulsory education, all tuition, food and boarding expenses for students from farmers and herdsmen’s families are covered. With an investment of 7.3 bln yuan, a modern education city, enjoying the complete facilities and multi-function, has been built in Lhasa.

Lhasa’s social security system has been increasingly improved. A social security system consisting of basic old-age insurance, basic health insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance has covered over 95 percent. In the past 50 years, Lhasa invested 8.8 bln yuan on the improvement of livelihood, an average annual increase of 26.09 percent.

“Beautiful home, happy Lhasa” is the reality of people from all ethnic groups in Lhasa.

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