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Old industrial district's leaders seek out new economic drivers

By Yuan Shenggao | (China Daily ) | 2018-12-29

Shibei district in Qingdao, an area with profound industrial resources, is striving to build itself into a dynamic region of prosperity and harmony.

The district, located in the geographic center of Qingdao, has a population of 1.09 million. The 65.4-square-kilometer area, equipped with a solid industrial foundation, well-developed logistic systems and renowned cultural heritage, has created a number of well-known Chinese brands including Tsingtao Beer and Haier.

However, as a typical older urban area with high population density and industrial sites, the district is not easily transformed into the kind of place where kinetic new economic growth opportunities can be accommodated.

Since the beginning of 2018, nonetheless, Shibei district leaders have been actively engaged in seeking out opportunities to enhance the local economy by attracting new projects and investment.

Local authorities accelerated the construction of 119 key projects, involving a total investment value of 153 billion yuan ($22.18 billion), to seize new chances in emerging technologies such as cloud computing and geographic information.

Second, the district is paving the way to cultivate new industry by utilizing the industrial bases that remain after the relocation of old factories and residential towns.

Third, the local government continues to upgrade its residential areas. This year, the district completed a relocation project that encouraged 2,300 households to move into new homes, which was secured by the construction of 5,000 resettlement units.

To evaluate the efficiency of urban governance, the local government set up a comprehensive command center based on the internet and big data technologies.

In 2017, the district invested a general public budget of 5.02 billion yuan for people's livelihood expenditure, pledging to promote a balanced development of education resources, elderly care and healthcare services.

In 2017, the total GDP of the district reached 75.66 billion yuan, a growth of 7.4 percent year-on-year. The general public budget revenue reached 10.69 billion yuan, and the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 75 billion yuan, ranking first in the city.

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Shibei district in Qingdao has created a number of well-known Chinese brands including Tsingtao Beer and Haier. Provided to China Daily