China plans Asia's biggest IT manufacturing hub
, a populous economic hub in south-western China, is hoping to become Asia's largest manufacturing base for information technology products.
In an interview with China Daily, Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan expressed confidence about IT industry prospects, saying the fast-growing demand for computer and communication facilities, would facilitate realization of this goal in spite of the global fiscal crisis.
"Partnering with several big names in IT, such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, Chongqing will soon have an IT industrial cluster with an annual industrial output of some 400 billion Yuan ($59 billion)," Huang said on the sidelines of the World Cities Summit in Singapore.
US computer maker HP and world-leading communication technology provider Cisco have established new manufacturing bases in Chongqing, aiming to tap the country's central and western regions.
Image: People walk on the Caiyuanba Yangtze River Bridge, in Chongqing municipality.
The HP factory will produce 5 million computers this year and 40 million by 2012, according to Huang.
The IT industrial cluster is only part of the local authorities' effort to build Chongqing, China's largest municipality, into an economic powerhouse in the country's western hinterland.
The city won government approval last month to set up a 1,200 square km special economic zone - Liangjiang New Area, the nation's third of its kind after Shanghai Pudong and Tianjin Binhai.
Taxis line up to get their tanks filled on a ramp in Chongqing municipality
Chongqing's rapid development owes much to the country's strategy of developing western regions, which was initiated 10 years ago aiming to achieve more balanced growth between eastern and western China.
Image: A pedestrian walks on a bridge as residential blocks are seen in the background in Chongqing.
During the past decade, China has invested 100 billion dollars in 23 major infrastructure projects in the western region, which has helped the region's economy grow at an annualized 11.9 per cent during the period.
Under the city's development roadmap, it plans to quadruple its industrial output to some 4 trillion Yuan over the next 10 years, driven by pillar industries including IT, automobile, equipment and
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