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Qingdao's innovation center drives high-quality development

(chinadaily.com.cn) | 2021-09-09

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The Core Area of the Qingdao International Shipping, Trade, and Financial Innovation Center in Shibei district, Qingdao. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Core Area of the Qingdao International Shipping, Trade, and Financial Innovation Center, which is entering its third year of development, has shown its unique power to promote the opening up of Qingdao and Shandong province.

Located in Shibei district, the innovation center focuses on the shipping, new trade, and finance industries, a development strategy customized by the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co in an effort to reenergize the city’s old urban area, further its opening up, as well as fuel local high-quality development.

During the past two years, the innovation center has been a leader in making use of the business opportunities under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership framework.

Since last year, the city has been paying increasing attention to consumer goods trade, especially with other RCEP members, promoting services like cross-border e-commerce, cold chain logistics, bonded warehousing, as well as trade finance.

Construction began on the RCEP Qingdao Innovation Pilot Zone for Economic and Trade Cooperation in January, which is another example of the city's latest attempts to restructure local industries and improve its ability to allocate international resources as a response to the new economic situation brought about by the giant trade pact.

The pilot zone covers an area of 34.2 square kilometers, with a total investment of 6.8 billion yuan ($1.05 billion). It will host eight major projects, including an exhibition center, a financial services center, a cruise home-port, as well as an industrial cluster with a focus on new materials, artificial intelligence, and healthcare.

Taking public welfare into consideration, Shibei district also spent 2.53 billion yuan in the first half of the year to improve people's living environment, provide relief to impoverished people, as well as build various schools and public fitness facilities.