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Dandong: five years of opening up
( chinadaily.com.cn )
Updated: 2011-05-31

During the 11th Five-year Plan period (2006-2010), Dandong, the only coastal border city of Liaoning province, tightly seized the opportunity to open coastal areas and border areas to the outside world and has listed opening up as its main strategy of development. It attracted worldwide attention with its prominent status as a new highland for opening northeast China and a new channel of going to the eastern part of northeast China.

During the five years, Dandong greatly improved its infrastructure, laying a solid foundation for opening up to the outside world. Since the province’s coastal economic belt was brought into line with the national strategy, the city accelerated its pace for great development, great opening, and great progress. In line with the principles of “making overall plans and taking all factors into consideration, making the focal points to stand out, advancing in echelon, and coordinating the development,” the city gave priority to the coastal and riverside areas development and the construction of the four major economic zones. To date, the four economic zones have over 300 projects under construction with a total investment of 27.45 billion yuan.

During the 11th Five-year Plan period, Dadong exported $7.5 billion worth of commodities; two times the total export in the 10th Five-year Plan period. It had gradually improved the export commodity structure with fewer agricultural and sideline products and more industrial products. It had exported more bulk products and prepared an array of backbone products for export. In 2009, the city exported 166 varieties of products, each with export volume worth over $1 million; they were valued at $773.9 million, 53.4 percent of the city’s total export. Manufacturing-based export companies have developed fast; 13 percentage points higher than 2005.

Dandong made substantial progress in utilizing foreign capital. During the five years, the city has attracted 450 foreign-funded enterprises which used $1.67 billion, 3.35 times the number over the 10th Five-year Plan period. In 2010, it utilized 700 million U.S. dollars, nine times that of 2005, averaging 58.5 percent in annual growth rate. By the end of 2009, the city had 648 foreign-funded enterprises, with $1.96 billion in contractual capital and $980 million in invested funds. The foreign investment scopes were expanded from a small number of sectors to cover dozens of sectors including building trade, transportation and traffic, service, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery. Over 80 percent of foreign-funded projects are manufacturing oriented with high technologies and up for export. Dandong has kept expanding the scopes of attracting investment and utilizing foreign capital. In particular, the city made a historic breakthrough in cooperating with the world’s top 500 enterprises and major international companies, signaled by the settlement of SK Group from South Korea.

The city has stepped up economic and technological cooperation with foreign partners and kept expanding foreign labor service cooperation. During the five years, it has sent 29,603 persons for overseas labor service, 1.48 times over the 10th Five-year Plan period. The foreign labor service market was expanded to cover a dozen countries and regions and showed diversified development trends. The city made considerable headway in overseas investment. Some companies with overseas investment qualifications successively went abroad to invest in mining, agriculture, and aquaculture. In the five years, they signed up 22 overseas investment contracts valued at $42.969 million. Both numbers are 1.4 times and 5.5 times over the 10th Five-year Plan period. The city tapped new forms in overseas investment. In 2009, Dandong made the first overseas merge in its history. The Dandong Sikai Electronics Development Co. Ltd. acquired MGP in Japan for $1.47 million for computer software development. Later, Liaoning Shuguang Auto Group Co. Ltd. took a technology center in the United States for $9.98 million to set up an R&D base in the United States, developing main axles and chassis systems; this paved the way to further sharpen international competitiveness.

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