Xinjiang economy on track for record year

The economy of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has experienced steady growth in the first half of this year, with GDP reaching 732.89 billion yuan ($113.4 billion), up 9.9 percent over the same period last year, according to data released recently.

Primary, secondary and tertiary industries have all enjoyed stable growth, with their added values rising by 3.8 percent, 10.5 percent and 10.3 percent year-on-year, respectively, during the period, according to the regional government.

The region’s booming tourism industry has become a highlight. Xinjiang’s 4A and 5A tourist spots received about 23.4 million visitors, registering a year-on-year increase of 58.2 percent. During the three-day Corban Festival holiday, or Eid al-Adha, between July 20 and 22, 4.74 million tourists generated tourism revenues of 3.6 billion yuan.

The total output of the farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery sectors during the first half of this year was 113.77 billion yuan, an increase of 5.1 percent over the same period last year. The region’s summer grain output hit a record high of an estimated 6.28 million metric tons.

Song Xiuhong, vice-director of the region’s statistics bureau, said two main factors have contributed to the stable development of agriculture, especially the bumper harvest of summer grain. “One is that the government has increased subsidies to protect the fertility of cultivated land across the region. Also, the wide cultivation of high-quality crop varieties has helped increase the yield per unit area of land and total output,” she said.

The region’s industrial output in the first six months of this year rose by 11.4 percent year-on-year. “Financial institutions have also increased loan support, which helps vitalize enterprises,” Song said.

Moreover, as Xinjiang implemented strict COVID-19 prevention measures, the service industry began to recover. From January to May, the sector saw total revenues surge to about 110.38 billion yuan.

Internet use has also fueled the development of the service sector, especially the restaurant and hotel businesses, Song noted.

Hotel revenues surged by 87.4 percent in the first half of this year through online reservations. Catering similarly experienced a 35 percent increase in online payments.

In addition, Xinjiang’s foreign trade rose by 19.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 65.87 billion yuan in the first six months of this year, according to Urumqi Customs.

Disposable income per capita stood at 10,114 yuan for the first half of the year, marking a year-on-year increase of 11.3 percent.

“In the first half of this year, Xinjiang’s economy enjoyed a stable overall performance, laying a solid foundation for reaching the growth goals and completing the tasks set for the rest of the year,” Song said.

Xinjiang will accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system, she added.

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