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Tianjin eyes ambitious vitalization

By YANG CHENG in Tianjin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-05-07 08:41
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The Tianjin Port at dusk in July. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's note: This year, the Communist Party of China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding. China Daily is publishing a series of stories looking at the tremendous changes that have occurred in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the leadership of the Party. They also include stories of the people and places that have left indelible marks in the Party's path to glory.

'One base and three zones' plan is foundation of shipping hub's endeavors to become more globally competitive

The North China municipality of Tianjin aims to build itself into "one base and three zones" in China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), Mayor Liao Guoxun said.

The plan refers to the country's advanced manufacturing base and its international shipping core zone, model operational zone for financial innovation and pilot zone for reform and opening-up.

"The national-level advanced manufacturing base is expected to take shape in the city with optimized self-independent, safe and efficient industrial chains, a group of internationally competitive industrial clusters and ever expanding strategic emerging sectors during the next five years," he said.

The city is looking to play a bigger role as North China's shipping hub with major breakthroughs at smart, eco-friendly Tianjin Port.

A higher-level economic mechanism to better spur quality development is expected to vitalize local companies during the period, he said.

"We expect the investment and business climate could take the lead in the country during the period," the mayor said.

In addition, Liao reiterated that during the next five years, Tianjin will embark on a new development effort to create a scheme of "twin towns"-namely the downtown and the coastal town area.

Compared with the downtown area's advanced infrastructure, the mayor said the coastal area's auxiliary facilities could be significantly improved, he said.

In a recent publication, Inspiring Tianjin, a number of foreign experts, politicians and entrepreneurs shared their views on the city's impressive development and its amiable living environment, including French researcher David Gosset.

"It's never a coincidence if the World Intelligence Congress takes place in the city, a megalopolis at the heart of Northeast Asia," said Gosset, founder of the Europe-China Forum. "Moreover, in 2022, with the Winter Olympics taking place in this (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) metropolitan region, the entire world will fully measure its significance!"

Over the next five years, the city will hasten efforts to build itself into an international commercial hub and shopping center.

To that end, the city has mapped out solid steps to achieve its goals.

In the next five years, it plans to push the coordinated development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster to new heights."It will actively absorb projects from Beijing to reduce the capital's industrial burden, better serve the growth of the Xiongan New Area-an emerging area in Hebei province-and boost the development of North China's shipping hub," said Liao, the mayor.

It will continue promoting technological innovation and build itself into a major hub of innovation, the mayor said. In addition, the city aims to improve its modern industrial chains and foster an advanced development pattern.

Other projects in the blueprint include vitalizing the local agricultural sector, deepening the reform of the free-trade area, optimizing the environment and consistently improving livelihood and social governance, he said.

Tianjin's ambitious targets have solid foundations that were established during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).

During the period, the city lured 3,062 industrial projects from Beijing, channeling an investment of 448.2 billion yuan ($68.4 billion).

Moreover, the China Communications Construction Company, China Nuclear Industry University and the Tianjin Research Institute for Advanced Equipment-part of Tsinghua University-announced plans to open facilities in the city.

Additionally, Binhai-Zhongguancun Science Park attracted 2,012 companies, and the Baodi Beijing-Tianjin Zhongguancun Science Town accelerated the pace of its development over the past five years.

The mayor also credited the establishment of four high-speed rail routes linking Beijing, Shanghai, Heilongjiang's provincial capital Harbin and surrounding areas, the expressway network and the Tianjin Port-one of the world's top ports in terms of container handling-with helping the local economy soar.

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