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TIANJIN: The Economic Center of the Bohai Rim Region

 
 
 

Located in the center of Bohai Bay, Tianjin, one of the four municipalities under direct jurisdiction of the Central Chinese Government, is the largest coastal city open to the outside world in northern China. Tianjin covers an area of 11,900 square kilometers with a coastline of 153 kilometers. It has jurisdiction over 18 districts and counties, having a population of 10,240,000.

Tianjin City was built as a fortification of Beijing, the capital, in 1404, and became a treaty port in 1860. It had developed into the largest industrial and commercial city and the financial center in northern China as early as the 1930s.

Historical changes have taken place in Tianjin. It put forward four grand objectives in 1994, namely, quadrupling its 1980's GDP by 1997, three years ahead of the schedule set by the Central Government, transforming the dilapidated and old one-story houses in the city proper in 5-7 years, renovating and transplanting all the large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises in 8 years, and basically finishing the construction of Binhai New Area in 10 years. All of the four grand objectives had been realized by the end of 2002, a year ahead of the schedule.

In 2002, the municipal government set up another "three-step" strategic goal for the first decade of the new century. The first step, per capita GDP hitting 3,000 USD by 2003, has been successfully realized. The second step is to double the per capita disposable income of the urban citizens and the net income of the peasants of 2000 by the end of 2006 or 2007, 3 or 4 years ahead of the national plan. The third step aims to improve the per capital GDP up to 6,000 USD by the year 2010, build Tianjin into a modernized international port metropolis and an pivotal economic center in northern China with relatively complete system of socialist market economy, and become one of the leading areas in China to realize modernizations.

The early and successful accomplishment of the four grand objectives and the first step goal for the new century mark the beginning of a brand new era of opening, reform and modernization drive of Tianjin.

Rapid, Coordinate, Healthy And Sustained Economic Development.

The annual average growth rate of the GDP of Tianjin is 12.8% between 1993 and 2004. In 2004 the GDP of Tianjin is 300 billion RMB yuan, an increase by 15.7% over the previous year, the fixed assets investment is about 130 billion RMB yuan, an increase by 20.3% over that of 2003, the revenue is 50.2 billion RMB yuan, an increase by 26.7% over the last year.

Comparatively High Overall Quality of Economy

After the renovation and transplantation of over 1220 state-owned traditional industrial enterprises, Tianjin has established 6 pillar industries, namely, electronic and information technology, automobile manufacturing, biological technology and modern pharmaceutics, metallurgy, petroleum and ocean chemical industry, new energy and environmental protection industry. In 2004, the gross output value of the six pillar industries totals 470 billion RMB yuan, accounting for 70.6% of the total industrial output of Tianjin. Moreover, the output value of high & new technology contributes 32.2% to the total industrial output.

The Formation of An Open Economy

In 2004, the total value of import and export of Tianjin reached 42 billion USD, a 43.2% increase over the last year. By the end of 2004, the actual utilization of foreign direct investment of Tianjin totals 27 billion USD. 106 from world top 500 corporations have invested in Tianjin, including Motorola, Toyota, and Samsung. Tianjin has become one of the quickest-developing areas in China with highest foreign investment return.

Obvious Strengthening of the Urban Functions

The aggregated investment on urban infrastructure of Tianjin has reached 180 billion RMB yuan since 1994. 6400 kilometers highway and 450 kilometers expressway have been built and opened to traffic. The construction of light rail and subway network is busy under way. The handling capacity of Tianjin Port reaches 206 million tons, ranking the top ten in the world, and the handling volume of containers hits 3.82 million. The information port of Tianjin based on broadband network, information exchange platform, e-commerce platform has been basically completed. The per capita housing area in the city is 24.2 square meters. With the great efforts made to improve the environment, the coverage of forest and grass has reached 35% in the urban area.

Full-scaled Progress of Social Affairs

In the past five years, 34.5% of the revenue of Tianjin has been spent on social affairs. The overall level of science and technology advancement ranks the third in China. The enrollment rate of the high school and higher education institution are 94% and 52% respectively. The average schooling of the new labor force is 14 years.

Stable Improvement of People's Living Standards

In 2004, the average per capita disposable income of the city dwellers in Tianjin was 11,467 RMB yuan, an annual increase of 14.5%, and the average per capita net income of the peasants was 6,525 RMB yuan, an annual increase of 13.7%. The registered unemployment rate is under 4%. The major health indexes of the city dwellers are up to the level of the medium developed countries.

The growth rates of GDP and revenue of Tianjin are 14.8% and 20.6% respectively from January to May of this year. Our economy has maintained the momentum of rapid, coordinate and healthy development.

The fastest economic development area in Tianjin, the economic center of the Bohai Rim Region, is Binhai New Area. The Area encompasses three functional areas, Tianjin Port, Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area, and Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone. It has a planned area of 2,270 square kilometers and a population of 1.35 million. In the past 10 years the annual average growth rate of GDP of Binhai New Area is as high as 20.8%. In 2004, the GDP of the Area reached 125 billion RMB yuan, accounting for 43% of the GDP of Tianjin. Foreign trade export and actual utilization of foreign direct investment of the Area account for 66% and 62% of total respectively. More than 70 businesses from the world top 500 have invested in the area, which has become an important window of the opening-up policy of China.

The Central Committee of the Party and the State Council always attach great importance to the development of Binhai New Area. In his inspection to Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area in 1986, Mr. Deng Xiaoping clearly pointed out, "There is so much wasteland between the port and the city. This is a great advantage. You have great potential for further development. Be more daring and aim at faster development." President Jiang Zemin, President Hu Jintao and other leaders of the Central Committee of the Party inspected the Area successively and made a series of invaluable instructions. On November 24, 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao made an important instruction, "The planning and construction of Tianjin Binhai New Area is crucial not only to the long-term development of Tianjin, but also to the revitalization of the economy in the Bohai Rim Region." Premier's words offered Tianjin an historical opportunity for the development of Tianjin and Binhai New Area.

At present, in accordance with the strategic plan of the Central Committee of the Party, Binhai New Area has drawn up a five-year and a long-term development plans ---- based in Tianjin, serving the Bohai Rim Region, radiating northwest, northeast and north China, facing northeast Asia, we shall strive to build the Area, in five years' time, into a modernized manufacturing, research and development base, an international shipping and logistic center in northern China, and a coastal urban area ecologically favorable for human residence.

To make full use of the comprehensive superiorities of the Binhai New Area, and adapt itself to the economic development of Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei Province, and areas along the Bohai Rim Region, so as to perform its multiple functions

Tianjin Port is the largest international trading port in northern China, and it has established trade intercourse with over 300 harbors in more than 170 countries and regions. By the year 2010, the cargo handling capability of Tianjin Port will have exceeded 0.3 billion tons; and its container handling capability will have reached 10 million standardized containers. We need to take advantage of the functions of Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area and Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone in the process of constructing Tianjin into a gateway of opening the northeastern and northwestern areas to the outside world. We should make full use of the industrial superiorities of Tianjin. The city has 6 pillar industries, namely electronic and information technology, automobile, biological technology and modern pharmaceutics, metallurgy, petroleum and ocean chemical industry, new energy and environmental protection industry. We should make use of their advanced technologies, great variety and close relationship with other industries, so as to allow Binhai New Area to develop harmoniously with its surrounding areas. We should make full use of our superiorities in land and resources. Binhai New Area now has more than 1,200 square kilometers of uncultivated land, which will be planned for ecology and constructin uses, so as to attract investors from home and abroad to develop the area. By 2010, the GDP of Binhai New Area will reach 320 billion Yuan with an annual growth of 17%, which is 5 points higher than the annual growth of the whole city's GDP. By then, Binhai New Area's GDP will account for 51% of the total.

To set up a large modern transportation system

Starting from this year, over 80 billion Yuan will be invested on accelerating the construction of various transportation projects. The 178-kilometer long, double directions Tianjin part of the Beijing-Tainjin-Tanggu No. 2 expressway which has 6 to 8 lanes, is already being constructed since June 16. The Beijing-Tianjin intercity passenger transport railroad line will soon be under construction and will be put into use before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. By then, a trip from Beijing to Tianjin will take only 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the Tianjin part of Beijing-Shanghai expressway, the enlarging of Tianjin Binhai International Airport, the Tianjin Port deep-water channel and other related projects are all under construction.

To build a modernized manufacturing, research and development base

By 2010, Tianjin will become a state-level manufacturing base of electronic and information products, and the production value of electronic and information industry will reach 300 billion Yuan. We will put emphasis on the construction of the million-ton ethylene, the million-ton selectron and the 30-million-ton petrol projects, and the production value of Tianjin's chemistry industry will exceed 200 billion Yuan, making the Area one of the important state-level chemical industry bases. The city will be able to manufacture 1 million cars per year, and the total industrial production value of the city will be increased from what is now 580 billion Yuan to 1,200 billion Yuan. At the same time, we will increase our abilities of research, inventing and innovation, so as to make Binhai New Area the receiving and spreading base of world technology.

To set up an international logistic center

With the port as a center, we're establishing a transportation system that combines the sea, the land, and the air. The port area will be enlarged from what is now some 30 sq kilometers to 100 sq kilometers. We'll accelerate the construction of 9 major material circulation bases, which includes the Tianjin Port bulk cargo center, the container center, and the Free Trade Zone international industrial park. Meanwhile, a comprehensive shipping service center will be set up to provide service for international material circulation.

To build a harmonious society that is favorable for human residence

During the 3 years to come, the government will invest over 80 billion Yuan on the construction of the city infrastructures such as energy sources and the supply and drainage of water, as well as the construction of municipal public facilities. We will energetically develop a circulating economy and accelerate the construction of natural environment. We will reinforce the development and protection of the 500-sq kilometer inshore marshes and various kinds of natural reservation areas, as well as more than 800 buildings of historical interests, so as to improve both the natural and human environments.

Looking forward, Tianjin has a most bright future in the 21st Century. With Binhai New Area as its orientation of development, Tianjin will become a great, energetic international port city that stands proudly by the Bohai Bay.

 
From: Enorth.com.cn  2005-06-24 14:55
 

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Editor: Zhang Jialu
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