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Qingdao prioritizes quality in newest plans

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | 2021-05-27

Ongoing projects will advance economic development and accelerate industries

High-quality projects in Qingdao are expected to advance the city's economic development, inject new impetus in its industries and accelerate its industrial agglomeration. That's according to Qingdao Mayor Zhao Haozhi, who made the comments after an on-site look at the city's pillar industrial projects on May 18.

In recent years, Qingdao has set up a group of new districts for the research and development of its high-tech industry, business cooperation and trade promotion, which include free trade zones, demonstration areas, coastal new areas and academicians' working center.

The Qingdao Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone has maintained its trade and exchanges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with Japan and South Korea.

With the help of e-commerce technologies and warehouse tools, the city has established a special consumption zone where people can shop at brick-and-mortar stores and place their orders online.

With a total area of 42.5 hectares, the special consumption zone is the only comprehensive gateway in China covering the businesses of cross-border commodities, common trade and international shipping.

Qingdao enjoys unique advantages in developing cross-border e-commerce.

In January 2016, the city was approved to set up a comprehensive test zone for cross-border e-commerce, according to officials.

In 2019, the Qingdao Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone was launched to help the city usher in major opportunities for cross-border e-commerce.

Powered by the internet and e-commerce platforms, physical distance has gradually become unimportant.

The shortening of the information gap and lifting of trade barriers have allowed great changes to take place in the world economy and in trade.

Besides foreign trade, the city is also ramping up efforts to develop its filmmaking industry through a group of video pilot projects.

The 5G High-and-New-Tech Video Pilot Park, a highlight project located in the West Coast New Area, is said to be China's first 5G technology-driven project under the joint effort by the National Radio and Television Administration, the Shandong provincial government and the Qingdao city government.

The project shoulders the mission of supply-side structural reforms in the television and film industry.

Boasting a comprehensive supply chain covering video manufacturing, product promotion and some supplementary services, the park demonstrates how 5G tools can be applied in the media industry.

The city is also eyeing the new energy industry by inviting a group of high-profile projects.

Shanghai Electric wind power equipment industrial park, launched at the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Zone for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation, strives to build up Asia's largest demonstration base of the high-end wind power equipment industry chain.

With a total investment of 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), it covers an area of 31.2 hectares and a construction area of 360,000 square meters.

Adopting German Industry 4.0 strategy, which has mapped out standards and processes for smart manufacturing, the project is positioned as a high-end wind power equipment system service provider.

By providing advanced intelligent wind power equipment for domestic clients and countries and regions under the frameworks of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected to lead high-quality economic development in the surrounding areas.

The city's focus on smart manufacturing, led by the development of the Qingdao International Academician Park in Licang district, has seen fast growth in recent years.

The park enjoys the district's beneficial policies to develop new energy vehicles and the intelligent manufacturing industry.

It is also the landing area of key projects for hardcore technology at the front end of the industrial chain, which is realized by commercialization of a group of academicians' research achievements.

The China Stone project in Qingdao's Shinan district is another landmark project.

Through cooperation with China Stone Industry Service, it aims to become a headquarters base of high-quality enterprises in Qingdao and an incubation center for small and medium-sized enterprises.

To become a digital financial industry center in the district is another target for its development, which is expected to be realized via investment promotion, industrial agglomeration and capital management.

The city's Shibei district has recently been implementing a reconstruction project for a cruise home port area.

With a planned area of 5.39 million square meters, it will reinforce the city's development of cruise tourism, financial trade, the intelligent industry, and commodities and culture.

"We should speed up the implementation of these megaprojects," Zhao said. "Only when the project is implemented and becomes ready for production can it be transformed into real productivity."

Zhao added that only when new projects continue to be attracted to Qingdao can the development of the city remain sustainable. The administration must take the lead and actively seek for new cooperation, he said.

"Local enterprises are also the 'treasure'. We should do a good job in making the most of their value," Zhao said.

"We should also optimize the business environment and keep up with international standards, lowering the market access threshold and reducing enterprises' operating costs."

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The picturesque view of Qingdao, Shandong province. CHINA DAILY

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Qingdao's 5G High-and-New-Tech Video Pilot Park is a highlight project located in the West Coast New Area. CHINA DAILY

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Customers look to buy goods at the Qingdao Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone. CHINA DAILY