Re­gional pro­grams of­fer a shot in the arm

Cen­tral govt eco­nomic plans set to ben­e­fit Delta

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - DONGYING SPECIAL - By JU CHUAN­JIANG and WANG QIAN

Be­cause it has been in­cluded in two re­gional de­vel­op­ment pro­grams spon­sored by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, the city of Dongy­ing in Shan­dong prov­ince is ex­pect­ing rare op­por­tu­ni­ties for high-qual­ity and sus­tain­able growth, a se­nior lo­cal of­fi­cial said.

Lo­cated in the Yel­low River es­tu­ary, Dongy­ing is part of two spe­cial eco­nomic zones ap­proved by China’s State Coun­cil for pro­mot­ing re­gional de­vel­op­ment — the Yel­low River Delta Eco­log­i­cal Eco­nomic Zone and the Shan­dong Penin­sula Ma­rine Eco­nomic Zone.

“The na­tional de­vel­op­ment pro­grams have brought us un­prece­dented de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties — for both eco­nomic growth and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ment,” said Liu Shihe, Party chief of the city.

Last year, the city re­ported a gross do­mes­tic prod­uct of 300 bil­lion yuan ($49.23 bil­lion), up 12.1 per­cent from 2011. Its growth rate ranked third among the prov­ince’s 17 cities.

“We will try our best to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties and make Dongy­ing one of the most ecofriendly and liv­able cities in the coun­try,” Liu said.

Mod­ern in­dus­tries

The city must de­velop en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient in­dus­tries to im­prove its com­pet­i­tive­ness, Liu said.

Th­ese in­dus­tries in­clude ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, ecofriendly agri­cul­ture, mod­ern ser­vices, al­ter­na­tive en­ergy, new ma­te­ri­als and elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion.

Dongy­ing was listed as a na­tional mod­ern agri­cul­tural demon­stra­tion zone for fish­eries, foresta­tion, veg­eta­bles, flow­ers and an­i­mal hus­bandry last year.

It cur­rently has about 12,000 hectares of wa­ter ar­eas for aqui­cul­ture, 27,000 hectares of veg­etable farms, 133,000 hectares of cot­ton farms, 53,000 hectares of wheat farms and 27,000 hectares of for­est farms.

This year, 32.5 bil­lion yuan was in­vested in a to­tal of 75 agri­cul­tural projects, in­clud­ing 11 eco-friendly for­est farms and a 3.25-bil­lion-yuan farm for edi­ble fun­gus.

A 2-bil­lion-yuan agro-tech park backed by Thai­land’s Charoen Pokp­hand Group is now un­der con­struc­tion. Cov­er­ing an area of nearly 67,000 hectares, the park in­te­grates re­search, breed­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing and eco­tourism.

Rich land re­sources are the city’s main ad­van­tages when it comes to eco-agri­cul­ture.

Li Shiy­ong, head of the lo­cal agri­cul­ture bureau, said the city has 300,000 hectares of un­used land, 413 kilo­me­ters of coast­line, 120,000 hectares of mud­flats and 40,000 hectares of pas­tures that are all suit­able for agri­cul­ture and aqui­cul­ture.

In ad­di­tion, the Yel­low River, with the high­est sand and silt con­tent in the world, cre­ates thou­sands of hectares of new land for the city ev­ery year.

The city now has 156 big, mod­ern farms and 560 agri­cul­tural en­ter­prises, gen­er­at­ing 20.5 bil­lion yuan of rev­enue in 2012, up 4.1 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Mean­while, the au­thor­i­ties of Dongy­ing are striv­ing to build the city into a hub for high-tech and mod­ern in­dus­tries in the prov­ince, such as ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion, al­ter­na­tive en­ergy, wind power and petroleum equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, Party chief Liu said.

So far, 21 large en­ter­prises, each with at least 10 bil­lion yuan in an­nual rev­enue, have set­tled in the city, pro­duc­ing a range of prod­ucts that in­clude au­to­mo­biles and auto parts, wind tur­bines, petroleum equip­ment and soft­ware.

The city now has grown into China’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ing site for petroleum equip­ment, with its rev­enue ac­count­ing for one-third of the in­dus­try to­tal.

In the mod­ern ser­vices sec­tor, em­pha­sis has been placed on lo­gis­tics, trade, ser­vice out­sourc­ing, tourism and cre­ative in­dus­tries. In this year alone, 24 new projects with 49.8 bil­lion yuan in fund­ing have been launched in the city.

Chief among th­ese projects are the 8-bil­lion-yuan mod­ern lo­gis­tics park at Dongy­ing Port, the 10-bil­lion-yuan Swan Lake scenic area and a 1.6-bil­lionyuan mil­i­tary cul­ture park.

Eco­log­i­cal zone

Be­cause Dongy­ing is a part of the Yel­low River Delta Eco­log­i­cal Eco­nomic Zone, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment has placed equal im­por­tance on eco­nomic pros­per­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

More than 60 key projects in­volv­ing a com­bined in­vest­ment of 18.1 bil­lion yuan have been launched in re­cent years to ex­pand the cov­er­age of forests and wet­lands as well as to pro­vide clean wa­ter.

A to­tal of 3.81 bil­lion yuan has been al­lo­cated for foresta­tion on a 24,800-hectare area, help­ing Dongy­ing to be rec­og­nized as a Na­tional Gar­den City, with an ur­ban green cov­er­age rate of 41.2 per­cent.

Cov­er­ing 153,000 hectares, the Yel­low River Delta Na­ture Re­serve in Dongy­ing is one of China’s largest wet­lands, pro­vid­ing a nat­u­ral habi­tat for al­most 300 bird species.

“We have taken a se­ries of mea­sures to re­store the wet­land and pro­tect its wildlife, in­clud­ing build­ing wa­ter di­ver­sion and con­ser­va­tion fa­cil­i­ties and re­turn­ing farm­lands to wet­lands,” said Shan Kai, a spe­cial­ist at the na­ture re­serve’s re­search sta­tion.

He said about 23,000 hectares of wet­lands have been re­stored over the past few years and another 43,000 hectares are on sched­ule to be re­stored by 2015.

Peo­ple to ben­e­fit

To en­able more peo­ple to share in the fruits of eco­nomic growth, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment has been pri­or­i­tiz­ing the im­prove­ment of the lo­cal liv­ing stan­dard by build­ing more af­ford­able hous­ing, in­creas­ing farm­ers’ in­comes and strength­en­ing pub­lic ser­vices, said Party chief Liu.

Last year, the per capita dis­pos­able in­come of its ur­ban res­i­dents was 30,953 yuan, an in­crease of 13.2 per­cent from 2011. And the net in­come of ru­ral peo­ple was 11,489 yuan, up 14.6 per­cent.

In the first three quar­ters of this year, the gov­ern­ment helped 37,600 ru­ral la­bor­ers find jobs in the city and of­fer 27,200 new va­can­cies to ur­ban res­i­dents. Con­tact the writ­ers at juchuan­jiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Once heav­ily de­pen­dent on the petroleum in­dus­try, Dongy­ing is now on track to be­com­ing an eco-friendly and liv­able city.

JU CHUAN­JIANG / CHINA DAILY

An elec­tronic plant in Dongy­ing. The city is now shift­ing its fo­cus to such emerg­ing in­dus­tries as elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion, ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and new ma­te­ri­als.

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