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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.
    Development zones spur economic growth
Te Kan
2006-07-25 06:42

Authorities from Yuncheng, a southwestern city in North China's Shanxi Province, are strengthening investment attractions, seeking to spur growth of the local economy.

Major economic development zones in the city play a pivotal role in the authorities' efforts in this direction.

They are seen as ideal investment destinations because of their established infrastructure facilities, favourable policies and friendly environment.

These zones include the Yuncheng Economic Development Zone, the Huaxin Development Zone, the Fenglingdu Economic Development Zone and the Yanhu Industrial and Technological Park.

Driven by the popular investment spots, Yuncheng has attracted substantial investment from home and abroad.

According to data posted on the city's government website, in the first half of this year, the investment in primary industry stood at 32.95 million yuan (US$4.1 million), increasing 1.3 times compared to the same period last year.

And secondary and tertiary industries received investments of 3.87 billion yuan (US$383.75 million) and 1.85 billion yuan (US$231.25 million) respectively, up 24 and 68.3 per cent.

Yuncheng zone

The Yuncheng Economic Development Zone, founded in 1992, is located in the eastern suburb of Yuncheng.

So far it has developed 4 square kilometres of land. Its total planned area is 36 square kilometres.

Over years of development, the zone has grown into one of the most dynamic economies in the city, focusing on food processing, pharmaceuticals, equipment manufacturing, electronic information, commerce and logistics.

Statistics show that gross domestic product (GDP) of the zone reached 5.79 billion yuan (US$723.75 million) in 2005.

At present, accumulated fixed-asset investment stands at 2.46 billion yuan (US$307.5 million).

Rich natural resources are appealing to investors who choose to expand their operations in the zone.

Three reservoirs provide ample water supply for the zone. Huge reserves of more than 30 kinds of minerals are of high industrial value.

Efficient services offered by the zone's administration committee are another contributing factor to the influx of investment.

To provide quality services, the committee has improved efficiency and transparency of administrative procedures.

Meanwhile, the authorities have also mapped out a development plan for the zone, including an industrial section, a commercial and trade section, a recreation section, a residential section, and an agricultural park.

The industrial section, with a planned area of 10.3 square kilometres, was launched in 2002.

Now a high-tech industrial park has been set up there, aiming to attract high-tech industries, such as electronic information, precision manufacturing, refined chemicals and biological pharmaceuticals.

The Yudu Market, the commercial and trade section of the Yuncheng Economic Development Zone, is one of the biggest wholesale markets in North China, according to the zone's administrative committee.

It has an area of 66.7 hectares, divided into 14 functional areas, covering clothes, construction materials and automobiles.

At least 5,100 sellers from more than 21 provinces around the country have been attracted to do business there.

In 2005, the market's combined revenues reached 5.79 billion yuan (US$723.75 million).

Huaxin zone

The Huaxin Development Zone, founded in 1997, covers a planned area of 14.98 square kilometres and has a population of 100,000.

With the CITIC Machinery Manufacturing Incorporation a large State-owned enterprise as the core part, the zone has outstanding strength in the manufacturing, melting, casting, forging and pressing industries.

Because of its export-oriented development strategy, the zone has seen brisk growth in recent years.

Figures show that total output value of the zone stood at 3.09 billion yuan (US$386.25 million) in 2005.

And foreign trade volumes and fiscal revenues reached US$18 million and 110 million yuan (US$13.75 million) respectively.

A convenient transportation network and cost-efficient water and power supplies are other aspects attractive to investors.

In addition, the one-stop administrative service offered by the local government is also well received among investors.

According to the zone's administrative committee, the Huaxin Development Zone is aiming to build itself into a modern manufacturing base.

To this end, policies will tilt towards metallurgy, automobiles, casting and moulding sectors.

Meanwhile, the industries covering chemicals, pharmaceuticals and farm product processing will also receive support from the government.

Fenglingdu zone

The Fenglingdu Economic Development Zone, founded in 1992, is situated in the south of Shanxi Province, neighbouring Shaanxi and Henan provinces.

At the junction of two railways the Lianyungang-Lanzhou line and Datong-Fenglingdu line, the zone is a hub of transportation.

Two expressways meet there

It is 80 kilometres to the Yuncheng Guan'gong Airport and 150 kilometres to one of the biggest international airports in China's central and western region, Xianyang Airport in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province.

Embraced by the Yellow River, the zone has rich water resources and huge potential for hydropower development.

China Datang Corporation, one of the largest power companies in the country, has invested in the construction of a power station there, which is expected to begin operating at the end of September 2007.

To improve the investment environment, local authorities have invested 510 million yuan (US$63.75 million) in infrastructure facilities.

Four service systems, covering finance, agent, technology and human resources, have been set up to facilitate investment.

Up until now, 18 manufacturing enterprises funded by domestic and overseas investors have established their operations in the zone, bringing in a total investment value of 6.5 billion yuan (US$812.5 million).

Farm product processing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, new materials and power sectors are the pillar industries of the zone.

As a popular investment destination in the city of Yuncheng, the Fenglingdu Economic Development Zone has a promising future, according to the zone's administrative committee.

The committee anticipated that the output value of the zone's manufacturing sector will hit 10 billion yuan (US$1.25 billion) and its GDP will exceed 12 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) respectively in 2008.

Yanhu park

Covering an area of 9.22 square kilometres, Yanhu Industrial and Technological Park, part of the Yanhu New District, is a comprehensive industrial base, mainly focused on the manufacturing industry.

At present, 42 companies have settled in the zone, with a total investment value of 800 million yuan (US$100 million), and more than 80 per cent of them have begun operations, creating 4,500 jobs for locals.

The output value of the zone is projected to reach 1.5 billion yuan (US$187.5 million) this year, according to the zone's administrative committee.

The committee's optimistic prediction lies in the zone's advantages in transportation, infrastructure facilities and investment climate.

With an advanced transportation network, covering railways, expressways and airlines, the zone has easy access to markets in other regions of the country.

Over years of construction, the zone is now equipped with a widespread network for ample water and power supplies and quick access to the Internet.

Investors will also enjoy tax cuts and policy favours.

As a regional commercial hub, the zone's strengths lie in its human resources, logistics and information.

Especially in recent years, trade and tourism are flourishing, and the agricultural sector has maintained steady growth.

The zone is now one of the 23 key development zones in Shanxi Province.

(China Daily 07/25/2006 page18)


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