Tibet's GDP surges 17.5 pct in Q1

Aerial photo taken on Jan. 28, 2021 shows a section of the No.109 national highway, the Qinghai-Tibet railway, a high-grade highway and a village-level road (L to R) between Lhasa and Nagqu in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.(Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

LHASA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The gross domestic product (GDP) of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region totaled 47.57 billion yuan (about 7.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2021, up 17.5 percent year on year, local authorities said Wednesday.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the region's average annual GDP growth for the past two years came in at 8.9 percent by the end of March, according to the regional statistics department.

People take part in a ceremony marking the start of spring ploughing in Shannan, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 16, 2021. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

The value-added output of major industrial enterprises in Tibet increased 27.6 percent during the period, up 15.7 percent from the first quarter of 2019.

Its fixed asset investment grew 25.5 percent year on year, and went up 25.9 percent over the same period of 2019.

The region also saw strong consumption demand, with its retail sales of consumer goods increasing 29.1 percent to 18.12 billion yuan.

Li Fangping, deputy head of the Tibet survey office, National Bureau of Statistics, said the region's economic recovery momentum has sustained in the first quarter with positive factors continuing to grow.

It is important to coordinate epidemic prevention with economic and social development to ensure the realization of GDP growth targets set at the beginning of the year, Li added.

The plateau region set its regional GDP growth target at more than 9 percent this year, according to the local government work report.