Pan-Pearl River bloc aims for closer relations

Updated: 2011-09-23 09:49

By Li Wenfang (China Daily)

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NANCHANG - Governments of the pan-Pearl River Delta (PRD) region cooperation bloc have pledged to achieve closer ties in their transport network, emergency response, product quality supervision, water resources and corporate and personal credit systems.

In the transport network, for example, they will jointly pursue construction of cross-provincial railways and highways, Yao Mugen, deputy director of the organizing committee of the gathering, said on Sept 22.

Sharing the massive Pearl River system, the members of the bloc will jointly build up the anti-disaster capacity of the rivers and seek effective protection and rational use of these waterways, Yao said.

Yao commented during the seventh session of the Pan-PRD regional cooperation and development forum and trade fair, which is being held in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, from Sept 20-24.

The bloc, dubbed 9+2, encompasses the provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions.

It covers one-fifth of the area and one-third of the population of the country.

Excluding Hong Kong and Macau, the economy of the region accounts for one-third of the national total.

Government heads of the members discussed issues including easier customs clearance, industrial relocation and the introduction of services from Hong Kong and Macau.

They also signed agreements on cross-provincial family planning services and deeper tourism cooperation.

Social management made the list of key issues for the first time at this session. The members of the bloc will strengthen cooperation in education, technology, human resources, population services and social insurance, said Hong Lihe, vice-governor of Jiangxi.

Pan-PRD cooperation has a unique and important role in the country's development, and it holds an irreplaceable position in cross-Straits ties and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said Li Zhaozhuo, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The bloc has given birth to coordinating mechanisms in leadership, industries, ecological protection and social and cultural fields, said Ma Zhihui, director of the economic research institute of the Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences.

Ma suggested the bloc emphasize cooperation in industrial division, ecological protection, transport networks and among enterprises, adding that the forming of an expert team would be essential to planning the future of the bloc, he said.

As of noon on Sept 22, 1,544 deals had been signed during the event, valued at 451.3 billion yuan ($70.5 billion), Yao said.


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