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Introduction of Liangjiang New Area,Chongqing, China
Inaugurated on June 18, 2010,the 13th anniversary of the upgrading
of Chongqing into a municipality directly under the Chinese central
government, the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area is the only
national-level new development and opening area in the hinterland of
China, and the third such area directly approved by the State Council
after the Pudong New Area of Shanghai and Binhai New Area of Tianjin.
Located within the city proper of Chongqing on the north of the
Yangtze River and east of the Jialing River, the Liangjiang New Area
encompasses parts of the three administrative districts of Jiangbei, Yubei
and Beibei, and has the only inland bonded area in China—the Lianglu
Cuntan Bonded Area. It has a total planned area of 1,200 square
kilometers, with 550 square kilometers available for new construction and
development.
At the 10-year mark of the implementation of China’s Western
Development Programme, the estalbishment of the Liangjiang New Area
is a major strategic decision by the central government to further western
China’s growth and promote balanced regional development. The central
government hopes to ride on the globlisation and economic integration
waves to build a growth pole in the West which will in turn lead the rise
of central and western parts of the country. China has implemented three
development strategies in the first 30 years of reform and opening-up, all
of which have brought about significant changes to regional economies.
Shenzhen’s development in the 1980s, Pudong’s development in the
1990s and Binhai New Area early this century have each ushered in an
upsurge in the development of the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta
and the Bohai Economic Rim respectively, giving a clear depiction of
how China’s economic reform has progressed from the South to the North
over these three decades. Ten years on in the new century, the State
Council’s decision to approve the establishment of the Liangjiang New
Area to drive the development of central and western China signifies the
wave of economic reform moving westward. It is fair to say that the
Liangjiang New Area is a milestone project of China’s Western
Development Programme at its 10th anniversary and will be a new growth
engine for western China, a test bed for reform and innovation and a new
medium for strategic transformation of China’ s development model.
In the face of the global financial crisis, where global market is
undergoing drastic changes, the establishment of the Liangjiang New
Area is consistent with China’s move to meet these challenges by kick
starting its domestic market and transforming development pattern in
order to mitigate the effects of a declining export market. By 2015, China
will be the world’s second largest consumer market, accounting for 14%
of the world’s total consumption. A bulk of this purchasing power will
stem from western China. With the State Council’s move to step up
domestic demand and the strength of the market, the Liangjiang New
Area’s development has a lot of potential. Its area of influence in the West
is over 6.8 million square kilometers, which is more than 30 times that of
Shenzhen and of Pudong, and 20 times that of the Binhai New Area. The
number of people that stand to benefit from its growth is about 4 to 5
times that of Shenzhen, Pudong and Binhai. The vast markets in central
and western China set the stage for the Liangjiang New Area to spearhead
growth in these regions.
Liangjiang New Area’s excellent transport connections: Firstly,
located in the heart of China geographically, Chongqing is at the the hub
connecting central and western parts of China, linking China and the
world through multiple domestic and international transport facilities.
Chongqing is currently developing China’s fourth largest international
airport, largest inland river port and an 8-line railway network. It is
estimated to take 28 days transport goods from the Yangtze River Delta to
Europe by sea, and just 27 days from Chongqing to Europe via
Chongqing’s rail and sea transportation network. Secondly, the
completion of the New Eurasian Continental Bridge and connection to the
Indian Ocean will greatly reduce logistics cost for the Area, creating
favorable conditions for it to gather global production factors and build a
platform for rapid transaction by making the best of the Yangtze River
waterway, the Jiangbei International Airport and the only bonded area in
inland China, thus making it a frontrunner in connecting inland China
with the world.
Liangjiang New Area’s six clear-cut strategic positioning: An
important inland base for advanced manufacturing and modern services;
China’s inland financial and innovation center; an important gateway to
connect China’s hinterland with the world; and a showcase of China’s
scientific development.
Liangjiang New Area’s industrial zoning: The Liangjiang New
Area is made up of three zones on modern services, advanced
manufacturing and comprehensive urban functions respectively. There are
ten functional areas supporting these zones, namely: Jiangbeizui Central
Business District, Bonded Area, Yufu Modern Manufacturing and
Logistics Zone, Longxing Modern Manufacturing Zone, Beibu Urban
Economic Zone, Airport Industrial Park, Yuelai Conference and
Exhibition Centre, Caijia Hi-tech Industrial Zone, Shuifu Ecological
Industrial Zone and Mugu Export Processing Zone. The Chongqing
municipal government has drawn up a “5+3” strategic development plan
in order to nurture a group of high-growth new industries. The five major
strategic industries identified are railway transportation, power generation
equipments (including nuclear power, wind power etc.), new energy cars,
electronic information and energy-saving materials. There will be three
strategic innovative functional bases, namely a national-level research
and development headquarters, a major science and technology
application base and a data center.
Liangjiang New Area’s preferential policies: The Liangjiang New
Area has been granted unprecedented preferential policies by the State
Council. Apart from the policies designed for the Shanghai Pudong New
Area and Tianjin Binhai New Area, the Liangjiang New Area also
benefits from policies under the Western China’s Development
Programme and the reform to coordinate urban-rural development. This is
to support the development of the Liangjiang New Area by creating pull
factors for industries, funds and talent to congregate. The Liangjiang New
Area currently has a total of 10 preferential policies. For example, the
corporate income tax will be levied at 15% by 2020; Hi-tech industries
whose product value and technological revenue make up more than 60%
of their annual production value will enjoy a corporate tax rate of no
more than 10%. These preferential policies have gained attention from
investors around the world.
Liangjiang New Area’s sound development conditions: Unlike
Shanghai’s Pudong and Tianjin’s Binhai New Areas which started almost
from scratch, the Liangjiang New Area is a culmination of an established
old city and a new city. It already has the only inland bonded area, the
largest conference and exhibition centre and financial business district in
western China. Its GDP in 2009 was about 80 billion RMB, 13 times that
of the Pudong New Area and 4 times of the Binhai New Area when they
were founded. Therefore, it has already got a certain basis for
development.
Liangjiang New Area’s strategic goals: The Liangjiang New Area
hopes to achieve preliminary results within 2 years, put in place its
development framework within 5 years, and establish itself within 10
years. Its GDP is expected to double and reach 150 billion yuan by 2012,
and exceed 300 billion yuan by 2015. By 2020, the Liangjiang New Area
is expected to establish itself as an internationally influential modern and
environmentally friendly advanced new area with global companies and
talent congregating and setting up their regional headquarters here, which
can be a model of opening-up for other regions in inland China. By then,
its GDP will hit 600 billion yuan, with industrial sales revenue reaching 1
trillion yuan. This is equivalent to Chongqing’s current GDP, and is
effectively replicating another Chongqing in ten years. What is behind the
numbers is the Liangjiang New Area’s drive to implement the central
government’s strategic plans in the shortest possible time and the
determination to rewrite Chongqing in China’s economic landscape.
Ten Preferential Policies for Liangjiang New Area
Liangjiang New Area enjoys the most number of preferential
policies out of the three national-level economic development areas in
China. Apart from the policies designed for the Shanghai Pudong New
Area and the Tianjin Binhai New Area, the Liangjiang New Area also
benefits from policies under the Western China’s Development
Programme and the reform to coordinate urban-rural development. The
ten preferential policies are:
1. Industries identified by the government for encouragement will
enjoy a low corporate tax rate at 15% till 2020;
2. With 2010 as a base reference point, newly increased local
revenue and financial and administrative charges under the 12th Five-Year
Plan will all be used for the development of the Liangjiang New Area;
3. The guidelines for land use in the New Area is independently
planned and will be in favor of the Area;
4. The Chongqing municipal government shall set up a special fund
of 10 billion yuan dedicated for the construction of infrastructure at the
Area;
5. The State Council has given approval to set up an industrial
investment fund to facilitate the construction of infrastructure and the
development of key industries in the Area;
6.
Hi-Tech companies whose product value and technological
revenue make up more than 60% of their annual production value will
enjoy a corporate tax rate of no more than 10%;
7. For Hi-tech industries or emerging industries located in the New
Area, the risk compensation received by the company from the year that
it is profitable for up to 3 years is tax free;
8. Major industries supported by the government will enjoy dual
preferential policies for land use. Institutions of higher learning that are
involved in technological research and development will be given
subsidies;
9. The government will provide support on project approval, land
utilisation, loan and financing, technological development and market
access;
10. Newly introduced senior management from the heardquarters of
large enterprises will be given settlement allowances as part of the
government’s talent attraction efforts.
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