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Economic hub of north China takes shape
enorth.com.cn   2008-10-17 10:52



Ever since the Binhai New Area was embodied into the national development strategy, the expected image of Tianjin as the future economic center of north China has gradually taken shape.

The State Council endorsed the "Overall Planning of Tianjin Municipality (2005 to 2020)" on July 27, 2006, giving a clear definition to Tianjin's identification and future position as an international port city, north China's economic center and last but not least, an eco-friendly city suitable for human habitation in the next 15 years. Tianjin should be the center of the Bohai Bay-rim region, and the city should give priority to the development of its Binhai New Area.

Together with Beijing, Tianjin is to lead the high-profile campaign to develop an economic circle encompassing Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province and the entire Bohai Bay-rim region.

As a matter of fact, Tianjin was the second largest commercial metropolis in the history of China's economic development in the first half of the last century. The city was almost as developed as Shanghai, in terms of commerce, trade, finance and shipping. When the People's Republic of China was founded, Tianjin ranked fifth in the overall economic scale nationwide.

The central government decided to build Tianjin into China's "key economic center of north China" in 1999. Seven years later in 2006, the government announced that Tianjin was expected to be the "economic center of north China."

After the Binhai New Area became part of the national development strategy, it was the first time for Tianjin to be earmarked as the economic center of north China. This was an important message conveyed by the Chinese government.

From the perspective of regional economic development, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are the engine cities, driving up the development of the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions. North China also needs an economically robust city, which can play a role similar to Shanghai, Shenzhen or Guangzhou within their economic circles.

The long-term development goal of China is to quadruple its gross domestic product (GDP) of 2000 by 2020, with per capita GDP reaching $3,000. This target requires the high-speed growth of the nation's economy during the next decade. To fully drive up China's economy, it is absolutely necessary to have a new growth engine, which is more powerful and influential.

Economic center

Positioning Tianjin as the future economic center of north China is a key strategy to balance the economic gap between China's north and south and enhance regional economic coordination.

Tianjin has been fully prepared to play such a role, equipped with sound economic and social fundamentals and conditions.

Since the launch of the market-oriented economic reforms, the municipality has achieved great progress, in terms of both social and economic development.

The municipality's per capita GDP reached $6,000 in 2007.

More than 20,000 foreign enterprises have invested in Tianjin. Among the world's top 500 enterprises, 128 have set up their branches in Tianjin.

With electronics, automotive, petrochemical, metallurgy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, new energy and environmental protection as its pillar industries, Tianjin has become the most important modern manufacturing hub of north China.

Tianjin enjoys the advantages of a good geographical location, developed industrial layout and strong research and development capabilities.

After years of construction and development, Tianjin has established its own comparative advantage, being a key logistics and air cargo transport hub of north China.

Tianjin has grown into one of the most potentially robust economies nationwide, attracting investment from both home and abroad.

It is expected that the Bohai Bay-rim region, led by Tianjin, will soon become one of the top three national economic engines, alongside the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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