Weifang looks to forge op­por­tu­ni­ties with HK

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - ADVERTORIAL - By YUAN SHENGGAO

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.

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