New area in Chengdu Aims to Stimulate Regional Economy

Authors: China Daily

2020-05-30

A cluster of major projects encompassing transport, innovative industries and headquarters attracts investment worth billions of yuan.
In the city of Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, a new area spanning 729 square kilometers has been founded. It will emerge as a force to promote the mutual development of Chengdu and Chongqing, local officials said.
In early May, the Sichuan provincial government approved the foundation of the eastern new area of Chengdu. The authorities also issued the area's overall plan and development guidelines.
According to the plan, the new area will become: a portal to the west and the south of China; a new platform for the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle; new support for the integrated development of Chengdu, Deyang, Meishan and Ziyang; a new engine for economic growth; and a demonstration of developing as a park city.
By 2025, the number of long-term residents in the new area is estimated to reach 800,000. Regional GDP is expected to reach 48 billion yuan ($6.73 billion), according to the plan.
"Setting up the new area is of great significance to relieving Chengdu's pressure as a single center, upgrading its structure and promoting its function and competitiveness," said Ni Pengfei, director at the Global Urban Competitiveness Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The new area will play a role in shaping the economic geography of Chengdu's industries and enhancing the city's abilities in supporting its population and economy, Ni said.
In 2017, the Chengdu city government pushed forward its strategy on developing new sustainable areas to its east.
With three years' effort, it has seen achievements including the construction of the new area and Tianfu International Airport.
the Tianfu International Airport
Based on the airport and a railway station, the new area will build air and rail hubs to enhance its opening-up, said Lu Hui, deputy director of the new area's administrative committee.
By 2035, the airport is expected to offer international routes to 150 cities and domestic routes to 220 cities. It will also build a high-speed railway that can reach 350 kilometers per hour and connect with the airport's terminals.
The new area will focus on developing industries including the aviation economy; modern logistics; international consumption; intelligent manufacturing; and the headquarters economy. It will aim to establish an open, modern industrial system incorporating advanced manufacturing, modern services, new economic industry and strategic emerging industries, according to Lu.
"The new area will help develop advanced manufacturing to drive the identical industry in areas on the east side of the Longquan Mountain," Lu said.
The new area will also build a future science city, which will become an important part of a western China science city jointly constructed by Chengdu and Chongqing, Lu said.
Thanks to the nation's efforts in constructing the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the new area is planning a batch of megaprojects.
In March, the internet digital center in Jianyang city began construction in the new area, with a total investment of 2 billion yuan.
The project is expected to be completed in 2022 and is estimated to realize an annual output value worth at least 500 million yuan, according to a project official.
"The center in Jianyang is the fourth expansion around the country after that of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province," the official said.
"It will also be a core headquarters for western China," the official said. He added that it will boost industries including logistics, internet, communication and artificial intelligence.
Seeing a great opportunity, logistics company ZTO Express is another investing in the new area.
According to ZTO Express, it plans to spend more than 2 billion yuan building an industrial park in Jianyang, as the company's southwest headquarters.
The park is expected to cover an area of about 26.67 hectares. It will include an office building; a research and development center; an e-commerce incubation center; warehouse distribution; and aviation and cold-chain in an effort to gather upstream and downstream companies of the industrial chain, according to its plan.
"The southwest headquarters will adopt advanced network technologies including cloud computing, big data and blockchain to shape a new operating system for the logistics industrial park, which combines intelligent logistics, warehousing and retail," said Lai Meisong, chairman of ZTO Express.
On the day of the new area's launch ceremony, a total of 51 projects began construction, with a total investment of 238.5 billion yuan, local officials said.
In 2020, the new area has 402 construction projects under construction, which are worth a total investment of 866.43 billion yuan, with 92.4 billion of this expected to be completed this year, they said.

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