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Dalian forges ahead toward big goals

Dalian, Liaoning province, is making a priority of "vigorously building a new frontier in opening up to the outside world", the city's acting mayor said on Thursday during the city's ongoing two sessions, the local version of the annual national political event.

"We should earnestly shoulder the mission of leading the export-oriented economy of Northeast China," Chen Shaowang said in the government report at the third session of the 16th People's Congress of Dalian, which raised its curtain on Thursday and will run until Saturday.

Chen said the city will deepen the reform and development of the Dalian sector of the China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone, explore the construction of a free trade port, speed up the building of an international shipping and logistics center and move forward on an international trade and regional finance center.

In addition, Dalian will integrate deeply into major national strategies and vigorously tap into the markets of Japan and the Republic of Korea, Chen said.

According to Chen, the city's economy and society on the whole stable and made good progress last year. This year, its main target is to synchronize regional GDP growth rate with national GDP growth rate and ensure the completion of the task of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city's annual two sessions are being held later than usual. The third session of the 13th Dalian People's Political Consultative Conference started on Wednesday.

The city has made various adjustments in light of the pandemic, including shortened meeting times, an optimized agenda and a reduction in the number of people in attendance.