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Putting a shine on Liaoning's pearls
BY 2008-03-06 07:51:14
 

Glimmering like valuable pearls along their shared coastline, six cities in northeast China's Liaoning province have joined together for mutual development in a program called "Five Points Along One Line".

The provincial Communist Party committee and the government formulated the strategy in 2005 for the cities of Dandong, Dalian, Yingkou, Panjin, Jinzhou and Huludao as part of the nation's push to empower development in regions other than the booming south during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10).

They proposed the establishment of a coastal economic belt to revitalize the traditional industrial base in the northeast and make Liaoning another of China's economic powerhouses.

The "Five Points" are key coastal hubs that include Changxing Island Harbor Industrial Zone and Huayuankou Industrial Park in Dalian, the Yingkou Coastal Industrial Base - including the Panjin Shipbuilding Industrial Base - the Liaoxi Jinzhou Bay Coastal Economic Zone -including the Jinzhou Xihai Industrial Zone and Huludao Northern Port Industrial Zone - and Dandong Industrial Park.

A 1,430 km arterial highway along the coast from Dandong to Suizhong in Huludao links them all together to form the "One Line" of the project's development.

With initial development covering an aggregate 220 sq km, the coastal economic belt is projected to grow to 583 sq km upon completion, according to the plan.

Advantages

The project will take advantage of Liaoning's strategic position as the only outlet to the sea in northeast China.

With 2,290 km of coastline - one-eighth of the country's total - including 1,000 km suitable for ports and 400 km next to deep water, its five major ports, with a total of 123 berths, can accommodate ships ranging in size from 10,000 to 300,000 tons.

Its ports with a total annual throughput exceeding 300 million tons and nearly 3.8 million twenty-foot equivalent container units provide ocean transportation links to more than 140 countries and regions around the world.

The region also has vast tracts of unused land, including 2,000 sq km of saltpan and saline expanses that provide enormous potential for industrial development.

A widespread transportation network - railways, expressways, oil pipelines, ocean routes and air routes - connects the region with the vast hinterland of northeast China and its abundant mineral reserves and well-established industrial base.

With strong support from inland cities, the coastal economic region is expected to grow rapidly, providing the engine for prosperity in the province.

Experts believe coastal development will impact all of northeast China, and contribute to the revitalization of the region's traditional industrial facilities.

Investment climate

Preferential policies have been implemented to create a better investment climate in the five zones, including financing support, greater capital investment, exemption from administrative fees, hiring more professionals and improvement in services, as well as streamlining government administration.

Those policies also channel taxes back for building infrastructure and supporting the development of leading industries.

Also enhancing the growth environment are the educational standards in the northeast, particular in its urban areas, which are among the highest in China.

The number of well-trained technicians and engineers with undergraduate or higher educations is well above the national average.

As the province undertakes revitalization of its old industries, the "Five Points Along One Line" strategy is planned to shift its economic growth from upcountry to coastal areas.

(Editor:) (From:China Daily)
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