TIANJIN - North China's port city of Tianjin plans to set up 20 modern service industry clusters at the cost of 199 billion yuan (US$26 billion) in three to five years to boost the sector's development.
The municipal government has set a goal for the service sector to account for 45 percent of the city's gross domestic product by 2011.
The priority will be put on boosting a high value-added modern service industry, including financial services, modern logistics, tourism, creative industries and service outsourcing, which are expected to provide more employment, said a spokesman for the municipal government.
In the Tianjin International Trade and Shipping Service Cluster, which is under construction and will cover 128 hectares, customers can enjoy the services of custom clearance, shipping, supervision and control, and they rent offices and accommodation there.
The service outsourcing park in Tianjin Economics and Technology Development Park, will realize annual sales of five billion to six billion yuan (US$650 million to US$780 million) on completion in 2011.
The Binhai New Area of Tianjin, 120 kilometers southeast of Beijing and covering 2,270 sq km, is the pilot reform base and the third economic engine in North China next to southern Shenzhen and eastern Shanghai's Pudong.
It is also home to eight functional zones under construction, including a high-tech zone, a port logistics zone, an airport logistics zone, a central business district and a resort area, said sources from the Administrative Committee of the Binhai New Area.
The 10-square-kilometer area of Tianjin Port, the largest bonded harbor area in northern China, will become an international free trade zone with focus on international distribution, global procurement and export processing when it is operational by the end of this year.
The modern service industry played a key role in a nation's economy and would boost China's social and economic development in the next 10 years, said Professor Chang Xiuze, of the Macro-Economics Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission.
However, China suffered a noticeable imbalance between traditional services, such as catering and and trade, and the modern services, including information, logistics and financial industries, Chang said.
In Beijing, the service sector accounted for 70 percent of the gross domestic product last year, the highest rate in the country, followed by Shanghai at 50.6 percent and Tianjin at 40 percent.