Weifang looks to forge opportunities with HK
The city of Weifang is pledging to create more opportunities for business cooperation with Hong Kong, Liu Shuguang, Party chief of Weifang, said at a conference earlier this week.
Officials from both cities met Monday in Hong Kong, as a subsidiary activity of Hong KongShandong Week. At the event, the government official highlighted Weifang’s advantage in location at the heart of Shandong province, as well as its leading agricultural products and robust manufacturing industry.
Liu expressed hope that Weifang and Hong Kong would deepen their cooperation in the fields of modern agriculture and high-end manufacturing industry, as well as in the service industry and infrastructure construction.
Liu noted that Weifang produces 12 percent of the fruit and 16 percent of the vegetables grown in China. And the revenue generated by the main business of Weifang’s manufacturing industry ranks among the top 10 prefecture-level cities in China, he added.
In recent years, Weifang has made great efforts to build itself into an industrial hub, a wellknown cultural city, and a vibrant, high-quality place to live, Liu said.
Weifang in Shandong province, located in the central Shandong Peninsula that juts into the Bohai Sea, covers 16,100 square kilometers and boasts a permanent population of 9.36 million.
Thanks to its long history, Weifang is home to a significant number of historic Chinese celebrities including Kong Rong, Fan Zhongyan, Ouyang Xiu and Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo.
In the modern era, numerous writers and artists such as Zang Kejia, a Chinese poet and writer who edited a famous volume of poems by Mao Zedong, and Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner for literature, have lived there.
Since the reform and openingup policy was announced in 1978, Shandong has been at the forefront of rural reform and agricultural production. Large greenhouses for vegetables, which enable farmers to continue growing in winter, were originally developed in Shouguang, a county-level city in Weifang.
Shengrui Transmission Corporation, a manufacturing enterprise in the Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, won the first prize at the National Science and Technology Progress Awards in 2016 for developing the first 8-gear automatic transmission in China.
A new heavy-load commercial vehicle powertrain technology, developed by Weichai Group, a leading heavy truck engines and components manufacturer in Weifang, was nominated to compete for the National Science and Technology Progress Awards this year.
Last year, the GDP of the region reached 585.86 billion yuan ($85.3 billion), an increase of 7 percent year-on-year. The revenue of the general public budget reached 53.91 billion yuan, an increase of 8.5 percent year-on-year.
Total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 9 percent year-on-year, total foreign trade increased by 10.2 percent year-onyear, investment in fixed assets increased by 5 percent year-onyear, and private investment increased by 10.7 percent over the previous year.
By the end of October, the registered capital of local market bodies hit 1.6 trillion yuan, an increase of 27.7 percent over the previous year.
As one of the first three cities in the province to establish business with foreign countries, to date, Weifang has developed trade ties with 209 countries and regions, with annual foreign trade reaching 140 billion yuan. Business partners from 72 countries and regions have invested in the city.
The city has enjoyed robust, high-quality industrial development, and is now paving the way to establish 100 high-end industrial parks and 100 platforms for innovation and entrepreneurship. The city is also promoting the upgrade of 5,000 large-scale enterprises.
Focusing on building up more industrial clusters with core competitiveness, the city aims to take the lead in cultivating five traditional and cutting-edge industries such as modern agriculture, newgeneration information technology, striving to build up two clusters worth 500 billion yuan and four worth 100 billion yuan by 2022.
Thanks to strong support in innovation-driven development, the main revenue of Weifang’s emerging industries — mechanical equipment, chemical industry, intelligent equipment and electronic information — hit 128.69 billion yuan last year.
The number of high-tech enterprises in the city has now reached 542, ranking third in Shandong province, and the output value of high-tech industries has reached 416.5 billion yuan, accounting for 34.35 percent of the provincial total.
The leapfrogging development plan of service industries has been further implemented, according to officials, and the contribution rate of the service industry to economic growth reached 45.2 percent.
Relying on the advantages they have accumulated over the recent years in four local dominant industries — vegetables, animal husbandry, forestry and flowers — Weifang residents are exploring development opportunities in three new, internet-oriented industries: rural tourism, rural e-commerce and high-end agricultural machinery.
Last year, the city’s rural tourism industry produced total income of 15 billion yuan, and the transaction volume of rural e-commerce reached 17 billion yuan.