This year, Tai'an city of eastern China's Shandong province will step up its efforts to forge innovation-driven service industries, as well as making them more diversified and open, and higher-end and higher-quality. The city intends to achieve this by giving priority to the development of eight fields, including tourism and culture, modern logistics, health services and e-commerce.
Tourism and culture industries are expected to receive a huge boost in 2015. The city – home to China's most popular 'sacred mountain', Mount Taishan - will push ahead with construction work on some of its major scenic spots, cultural heritage parks and holiday resorts. It will integrate tourism resources, shape its cultural tourism brands and accelerate the development of country tourism whilst enhancing local culture.
In the e-commerce field, Tai'an will cultivate a batch of platform-based enterprises, develop e-commerce communities, introduce domestic and overseas e-commerce service enterprises, support coordinated development of e-commerce and the express delivery industry, and plan the construction of an express delivery industrial park.
In addition, the city will support the development of large logistics enterprises and speed up construction of major logistics industrial parks.
Tai'an will explore new formats of medical and health services, especially in elderly care. It will speed up infrastructure construction and continue to lower the threshold for foreign investment and cooperation in running hospitals. This will include gradually expanding a pilot program to allow qualified overseas investors to set up wholly-owned medical institutions. It will also encourage the development of specialized hospital management groups.
Last year, the city's service industries registered a value-added output increase of 9.1 percent on the previous year to 12.83 billion yuan ($2.05 billion), accounting for 42.7 percent of the local GDP.
The service sector's structure was further optimized, with modern service industries taking up 43.5 percent. Information transmission, computer services and software industries saw rapid growth, posting a value-added output of 4.39 billion yuan, up 13.3 percent on the previous year.
Fixed-asset investment in the service sector rose 17.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, to 122.99 billion yuan, accounting for 53.5 percent of the city's total fixed-asset investments.
Tax revenues from service industries rose 20.6 percent year-on-year to 10.33 billion yuan, taking up 46.1 percent of the city's total taxes collected.
Contributed by Wang Qian