Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Coastal belt will spur new economic growth

Updated: 2009-08-03 07:56
By Wu Yong & Liu Ce (China Daily)

Coastal belt will spur new economic growth 

Yingkou Port, the second largest port in Liaoning, provides easy access to the sea for cities in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. Domestic trade accounted for 80 percent of the 150 million tons of freight that moved through the port last year. Zhang Wei

Liaoning's coastal economic belt strategy was approved by the State Council on July 1, readying the largely undeveloped region for rapid development.

The State Council had previously given the green light to develop coastal areas in East China's Jiangsu province, the Beibu Bay in Guangxi and the economic zone on the western side of Taiwan Straits in Fujian province.

The strategy for the Liaoning coastal belt, about 700 sq km in size, will focus on ship building, petroleum refining, advanced equipment manufacturing, raw materials, hi-tech industries and agricultural processing.

With its strategically important location, Liaoning will play a vital role in the economic development of the Bohai zone and northeastern Asia.

Bordering the Binhai New Area in Tianjin, another development zone in the Bohai Bay Rim, the coastal economic belt in Liaoning also can capitalize on its access to the sea to drive the region's economic growth.

The zone will comprise the ports of Dalian, Jinzhou, Yingkou, Huludao and Dandong, which opened navigation services to more than 140 countries and regions.

Liaoning's provincial government proposed the economic belt in 2005, calling it critical to revitalizing the province's old industrial bases.

In the past three years, large companies such as Intel, Foxconn and SK invested in the province.

In 2008, the province attracted $12.02 billion in foreign investments, ranking No 3 in the country.

Liaoning's future lies in its domestic business base, as well.

Stephen B. Wickman, consul general of the US Consulate in Shenyang, said the timing and clients make the opening of Liaoning's coastal belt unique.

The economic climate has changed, and the province likely won't be as dependent on foreign trade, he said.

Plus, doing more domestic business makes sense, as shown by the trading patterns of Liaoning's ports.

For instance, Yingkou Port, the second largest port in Liaoning, provides the closest access to the sea for cities in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia.

Last year, it had a cargo throughput of 150 million tons, and domestic trade accounted for 80 percent of that throughput.

"A major task for Yingkou Port in 2009 is to further enlarge domestic trade. Next it will open new routes from Yingkou to Quanzhou and Wenzhou," said Li Song, vice president of Yingkou Port Liability Co Ltd.

Besides its port-oriented economy, the province also boasts industrial clusters combining industries in hi-tech, ecology, agriculture, and tourism and leisure sectors.

According to provincial authorities, every city in the province will be home to an industry cluster within the next five years.

Machine manufacturing, for example, would become the core strength of industry clusters in Shenyang and Dalian.

Local government officials view the coastal belt as a major way to stimulate Liaoning's economic growth, said Chen Zhenggao, governor of Liaoning province.

As the emphasis on China's economic growth shifts from southern cities to northern regions, the country's Bohai Bay Rim will attract more attention in national development plans, said Feng Guisheng, a scholar at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.

"It is expected that the coastal economic belt of Liaoning will power the revitalization of northeastern China and help Liaoning become one of the region's more dynamic economies," Feng told China Business Weekly.

"The region also shoulders the responsibility to build an international shipping center in northeastern Asia and deepen cooperation between China and nearby nations such as Japan and Russia," Feng said.

Coastal belt will spur new economic growth

Coastal belt will spur new economic growth

(China Daily 08/03/2009 page5)

Hot Topics