CHINA / National

Tianjin gets the nod for new-area plan
By Liu Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-07 05:49

The port city of Tianjin has finally won the central government's approval for its development zone dubbed "Pudong of North China" by international investors.

In a statement released yesterday by the State Council, the cabinet, Binhai New Area was officially designated an experimental zone for comprehensive reform, with a short-term emphasis on financial and allied services.

Tianjin is 120 kilometres southeast of Beijing; and Binhai is 50 kilometres away from the city's downtown.

For the last couple of years, the Binhai plan has been promoted by the municipality's officials as of key importance for the port city's future development.

But the significance of the Binhai New Area will be far greater than the potential benefit for just one city.

At a meeting on promoting Binhai's development organized by the State Council yesterday, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said: "The development of Binhai New Area is of strategic importance in China's economic and social development. Its development will promote the growth of Beijing and Tianjin municipalities, Hebei Province and areas around the Bohai Sea."

The Binhai New Area, which covers nearly 2,300 square kilometres, will be turned into a gateway to North China, a modern manufacturing and research base and an international shipping and logistics centre, he said.

A series of experimental schemes will be launched in Binhai, according to the State Council announcement, including financial initiatives, land administration methods, a bonded area and preferential tax policies.

The government will allow Binhai to pilot key reforms related to financial services and the capital market, and to be more open to international business development. Experimental schemes may also cover areas of venture capital, foreign exchange administration and offshore banking.

The reform in land administration will focus on efficient use of available resources. Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Area will be set up in the new area with an emphasis on international distribution, global procurement and export processing.

The development of the bonded area will be open to international partners, the announcement indicated.

(China Daily 06/07/2006 page1)