Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the main artery of Tibet's economic development. [Photo/China Tibet Online]
As one of the planned key projects in the tenth anniversary of China's West Development, the Pondo Water Control Project started its first unit to generate electricity on Dec. 10, 2013. The other three generating units are expected to start operations in June 2014, and all the four generating units will be able to generate a total of 599 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually upon completion, fundamentally relieving the tight power supply in Lhasa of Tibet.
With a total investment of 4.57 billion yuan (748 million U.S. dollars), the Pondo Water Control Project is only one of the 226 key projects during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) in Tibet. A series of major projects have been under construction, for example, the high-level highway connecting Lhasa and Nyingchi is being built, while Lhasa-Shigatse Railway as the extension of Qinghai-Tibet Railway is expected to complete track-laying, all of which have become the powerful engine to promote Tibet's leaping-over economy development.
According to Tibet's Statistical Bureau, this year, the economy of Tibet has three major characteristics: steadily faster, steadily stronger, and steadily higher. In the first three quarters of 2013, Tibet's GDP has reached 57.573 billion yuan (about 9.5 billion U.S. dollars) with an increase rate of 12 percent, which is 4.3 percent higher than the national average value.
Since 1994, Tibet's GDP has maintained two-digit positive increase for 19 years with an annual growth rate of 12.7 percent. The per capita net income of the whole region's farmers and herdsman has maintained two-digit positive increase for more than ten years. With continuous improvement of people's life, Tibet is expected to keep pace with the nation to realize the grand goal of constructing a well-off society in an all-round way in 2020.
When Tibet has a rapid economic development, it is still one of areas in the world which own best environmental quality. According to the statistics released by Tibet's Statistical Bureau, the air quality of Lhasa has been fairly good during the first ten months of this year. The good rate of air quality has reached 94.9 percent, and even reached 100 percent during June and October.
Aiming at promoting the primary industry, expanding secondary industry and strengthening the tertiary industry, Tibet has strived to build the national key strategic resource reserve base, plateau distinctive agricultural products base and world tourism destination, which has achieved a remarkable effect. Famous local enterprises such as Yark Diary, Ganlu Tibetan Medicine and 5100 Tibet Spring sell their products widely at home and abroad.
For many years, the government of Tibet has taken measures to improve people's livelihood as the ultimate objective of its development and pushed forward several projects to solve the most concerning, direct acting and realistic problems in benefit for the public to maintain the Tibetan society stability and solidarity.