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Yangtze delta to become key growth driver

Updated: Dec 07,2019 07:15    China Daily

China is dedicated to building the Yangtze River Delta region into a vibrant world-class economic region in a move to further open up the economy and foster high-quality development, according to the country's top economic regulator.

Luo Wen, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the integrated development of the delta region is part of the country's ongoing efforts to enhance its reform and opening-up policy, and will serve as a key growth driver to boost the economy.

"With a key focus on integration and high quality, more efforts are needed to advance all-around opening up and build the area into a role model for high-quality development, " Luo said at a State Council Information Office media conference on Dec 6 in Beijing.

Luo proposed making a big push to develop the delta region and carry out opening-up at a deeper level in three respects.

"The first is to actively promote the construction of free trade zone, speeding up the exploration and implementation of opening-up policies to build a specific economic zone with greater influence in the international market," he said.

Luo added that the Shanghai Free Trade Zone is set to become China's answer to internationally recognized economic zones with the strongest competitiveness, such as Singapore and Dubai.

"The second is to create a high-level platform for opening-up and build Shanghai into a key import and export distribution center that serves the whole nation as well as the Asia-Pacific region," Luo said. "The third is to create a world-class business climate, fully implement the management system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list and introduce more supportive policies to attract international talent."

The integrated development of the delta region has been introduced as a national strategy, with a new development plan mapped out to build the area into a vital driving force of the nation's development by 2035.

The delta region encompasses Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, covering around 358,000 square kilometers and generating about one-quarter of the country's GDP. The delta area's economy is not only large, but also includes a lot of dominant industries with distinct competitiveness nationally or globally, including finance, trade, manufacturing and some cutting-edge tech sectors.

"The delta region plays a significant role in the economic development of both China and the globe," said Wang Zhen, vice-president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. "After years of reforms and opening-up, the region has formed a group of industrial clusters with global influence. It has already become a world factory and a key supply chain base for multinational corporations. With an advanced economy, the region's huge spending power is also globally influential."

All parts of the region are now accelerating the push to promote their capabilities in the allocation of global resources and scientific innovation, which will foster new economic drivers, officials said.

They said that using the differentiated advantages of its parts, the delta region will better play its functions in leading the country's high-quality development and opening-up as well as building a modern economic system.

"Under the new plan, Shanghai is set to play a leading role in boosting the integrated development of the delta region, and it is gearing up to better assume its functions in international economy, finance, trade, shipping and scientific innovation," said Chen Yin, executive vice-mayor of Shanghai.

More effort is needed to deepen cooperation among all parties, especially deepen opening-up in fostering greater openness in finance, making breakthroughs in key core technologies and developing next-generation 5G technologies, Chen added.

Fan Jinlong, executive vice-governor of Jiangsu province, agreed that innovation is a key to boosting the high-quality development of the region.
"Jiangsu will make full use of the new opportunities to foster the integrated development of innovation and industries, which will help move its industries to the high-end in the global industrial chain." Fan said.