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A new area of experiments and hopes

China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-10 07:36

Clear industry structure needed

There has been much public debate on Caofeidian in Tangshan district of Hebei province, which is a traditional heavy industry base grappling with overcapacity. But it is too early to call it a failure, because true regional development is possible only in the long term. Experience tells a clear industrial structure should be built and a single-industry structure should be avoided. And since resource-intensive industries alone can no longer play the pivotal role in economic development, the industrial structure should be more diversified and attempts must be made to build a comprehensive industrial chain.

Therefore, the choice of pillar industry for the development of Xiongan New Area should be made in accordance with the trend of global industrial development and China’s overall strategic plan.

Officials have already emphasized that “the new area will create a favorable environment for innovation” and attract innovative talents to help build it into a “high ground” for innovation and a new science and technology city. So traditional heavy industries should not be shifted to or set up in the new area on a large scale, modern service industries should be encouraged to play the leading role, and a smart ecological system must be built in the area.

A valuable lesson that can be learned from the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area is that institutional innovation should play a strong supportive role in the initial stages of Xiongan New Area and, as it matures, the market should play the leading role in the distribution of social resources.

Li Guoping, Department of Urban and Regional Management, School of Government, Peking University

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