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New efforts bring quality investment to an aging industrial base

Updated: Dec 11,2019 10:49 AM    CGTN

To hedge economic downward pressure, China's northeastern regions have worked hard to stabilize investment, which is now rejuvenating the area in a big way.

In Northeast China's Liaoning province, there's an old saying that investment stops at the east end of the Great Wall – suggesting its business environment used to be less favored by businesses. But things are changing.

The more than 10-billion-yuan healthy project that the province introduced to its new economic zone last year turned 500,000 square meters of wasteland into a cluster of modern skyscrapers in less than a year.

Gao Hongyin, the project leader from Evergrande Group, said they spent only four days getting construction permits after they got the land – the process traditionally takes four to six months.

The speedy result is thanks to Shenfu New District's reforms in administrative approval procedures. That makes business much easier.

Besides, more comprehensive services from the government are phasing out years of red tape and government mandates. Gao said now they have no worries but only strong confidence in investment. With an improved business climate, the district attracted nearly 100 billion yuan (about $14 billion) of investment from April to October.

But it's not just a matter of quantity. The central government has made it clear that China will not take the old path of heavy reliance on investment at the risk of inflation, resource shortages and overcapacity. Instead, the key is to promote effective investment in areas falling short of capital.

In Dalian, a major port city in Liaoning province, one of the nation's largest petroleum refining projects that opened in May addresses the inadequate supply of aromatic hydrocarbons. It is expected to increase domestic production capacity by 30 percent. And the project is slated to create long-term sustainable benefits, with the advanced refining equipment and eco-friendly sewage system.

Chen Jianhua, chairman of Hengli Group which invested in the megaproject, believed that high-quality development depends on the innovation and management of enterprises, which they are working hard on.

"We also embrace what President Xi said – clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver," Chen added. All these have demonstrated the determination of China's old industrial base to bring itself back into the limelight of investment once again, which is also creating new driving forces for economic growth and industrial upgrades.