He­bei seeks to at­tract businesses from cap­i­tal

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG LEI and ZHENG JINRAN

He­bei prov­ince is pro­mot­ing ur­ban­iza­tion within its borders with a plan to have some na­tional ad­min­is­tra­tive agencies, in­sti­tu­tions and in­dus­tries move there from Bei­jing.

The of­fi­cial pol­icy state­ment from He­bei, re­leased on Wed­nes­day, calls for a syn­chro­nized joint de­vel­op­ment pro­gram with Bei­jing and Tian­jin that uses Baod­ing’s ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tages to at­tract some agencies and businesses now in the con­gested na­tional cap­i­tal.

The doc­u­ment was re­leased by the He­bei provin­cial govern­ment to so­licit feed­back, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency. The plan fol­lows Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s call in late Fe­bru­ary for co­or­di­nated de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion around Bei­jing.

Baod­ing — which will cre­ate a govern­ment ser­vice area — is half­way be­tween Bei­jing and Shi­ji­azhuang, the cap­i­tal of He­bei. High-speed train travel from Bei­jing to Baod­ing takes only 40 min­utes.

The ser­vice area will also in­clude in­dus­tries like high­end equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, new en­ergy, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and air­port lo­gis­tics that are now in the cap­i­tal. Some of Bei­jing’s uni­ver­si­ties, re­search in­sti­tu­tions and med­i­cal and nurs­ing ser­vices will also

As a civil ser­vant, I only earn about 1,000 yuan a month. I hope the hous­ing prices won’t go up too much.” DAI WEI RES­I­DENT OF BAOD­ING

move to Baod­ing un­der the plan.

Baod­ing’s lo­cal govern­ment vowed to in­crease ef­forts to im­prove its ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment to at­tract more pri­vate businesses from the cap­i­tal.

Li Yan­jun, a re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of Econ­omy un­der the Bei­jing Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said in or­der to limit Bei­jing’s pop­u­la­tion from in­creas­ing, Bei­jing’s city govern­ment should en­cour­age ad­min­is­tra­tive agencies and in­sti­tu­tions to move to neigh­bor­ing re­gions.

Wang Xiaoyu, di­rec­tor of the Baod­ing govern­ment of­fice, said that al­though specifics of this pol­icy have not been spelled out, the idea has been greeted en­thu­si­as­ti­cally by property de­vel­op­ers from Baod­ing and neigh­bor­ing cities.

De­vel­op­ers in Baod­ing have been pro­mot­ing the ben­e­fits of buy­ing houses in the city. Baod­ing’s hous­ing prices have been about 5,000 yuan ($805) per square me­ter since 2010. The lat­est Na­tional City Home Price In­dex show that Baod­ing’s home prices fell 0.68 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary, while in March the fig­ure soared 10 per­cent, stim­u­lated by the new pol­icy.

Ac­cord­ing to The Mir­ror news­pa­per in Bei­jing, new houses con­cen­trated in the east­ern and north­ern part of the city rose by 700 yuan per square me­ter. Soufun.com, one of China’s hous­ing por­tals, said shut­tle buses used to pick up home buy­ers from Bei­jing and the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion at Baod­ing train sta­tion only on Satur­days and Sun­days. Now buses also run twice dur­ing the week.

But to many Baod­ing res­i­dents, the plans are a cause for con­cern.

Dai Wei, a lo­cal res­i­dent, said, “I bought a house in the south­ern district of the city 14 years ago when prices were about 3,000 yuan per sq m. Now it has al­ready risen to more than 5,000 yuan. As a civil ser­vant, I only earn about 1,000 yuan a month. I hope the hous­ing prices won’t go up too much.” Con­tact the writ­ers at zhanglei@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily. com.cn

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