CHINA> Regional
Economic zones in Guangdong outline new opening-up measures
By Liang Qiwen (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-21 08:24

GUANGZHOU: Special economic zones in Guangdong province, including Shenzhen, Shantou and Zhuhai, will take further measures in reform and opening-up to maintain their leading positions in economic and social development, the provincial Party chief has said.

"Facing the current critical economic recession, the three cities should continue the brave working style and dare to break through the difficulties to deepen economic and social reforms," Guangdong Party chief Wang Yang said.

Wang was speaking during a conference on the economic development of the provincial special economic zones that ended yesterday in Shenzhen.

Specifically, Shenzhen, which is regarded the most successful economic special zone, will spend five years to implement several reforms, including reforming the structure of its government, the city's Party chief, Liu Yupu, said.

"We will gradually eliminate district-level governments, and we will use the experience of Hong Kong and Singapore for reference," Liu said.

After the district-level governments are eliminated, the municipal government will set up representative offices to manage affairs in different districts, he said.

This reform will simplify the structure of government, making the government more efficient and transparent, he said.

The municipal government of Shenzhen controls seven district-level governments.

The government of Zhuhai said it will learn from Hong Kong and introduce some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to handle social affairs together with the government.

"Many people deem Zhuhai as a laid-back leisure city," Gan Lin, Zhuhai's Party chief, said.

"So many talented people and big investment projects have left Zhuhai."

To tackle the problem, he said the city will attach more importance to developing innovative industries, such as the establishment of more NGOs.

Shantou will strengthen economic and social ties with Taiwan as the city, located in the west of Guangdong, has an ideal geological advantage in the province to link the island, according to Huang Zhigang, the city's Party chief.