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New area draws huge domestic and intl investments

By Li You ( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-04-28

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The West Coast New Area in Qingdao, Shandong province, accelerated its pace in attracting investments in the beginning of 2017.

In the first three months of this year, 31 projects had been signed with investment totaling 23.02 billion yuan ($3.34 billion). These include 27 domestic projects worth 16.26 billion yuan and four foreign-funded projects worth $980 million.

"The projects are expected to foster new growth areas for the new area," said Wang Jianxiang, Party chief of the West Coast New Area and also Party chief of Huangdao district, where the new area is located.

One of the biggest projects is the 8 billion yuan roller washing machine facility invested in by local home appliance giant Haier in the new area.

Legend Holdings, the company that owns the renowned Chinese IT brand Lenovo, agreed to invest 5 billion yuan earlier this year in building its marine industry headquarters in the new area.

Chen Shaopeng, senior vice-president of Legend Holdings, said the marine industry is another new strategy for the company's modern agriculture and food sectors.

"The new area's strength in marine industries and its first-class business environment helped us to make the decision to invest," Chen said.

Beyond the 31 agreed-upon projects, another 36 projects signed previously completed business registration in the new area. With total investment of 13.3 billion yuan, they included 30 domestic-funded projects worth 11.16 billion yuan and six foreign-funded projects totaling $311 million.

The West Coast New Area was established in 2014, with approval from the State Council. Since then, it has played a leading role in driving Qingdao's economic growth.

In 2016, Qingdao's GDP exceeded 1 trillion yuan for the first time and the new area accounted for nearly 33 percent.

Since 2014, the new area has attracted more than 1,000 projects, with total investment reaching 1 trillion yuan.

Recently, the new area launched the West Coast New Area Research Institute to explore growth strategies and guide the new area's development in a scientific way.

The research institute will incorporate national and international insights to study the directions and rules for further development, providing a full range of plans and solutions to the local government, according to Wang Bo, chief of the planning bureau of Qingdao West Coast New Area.