Author: Huang Ge in Bo’ao
Posted on: Global Times, March 25th, 2017
As a vital juncture within China’s “One Belt, One Road” (Belt and Road) initiative, the Qingdao West Coast New Area is beefing up efforts to enhance economic cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road through promoting bilateral investment, a local official said.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, approved the establishment of the Qingdao West Coast New Area in East China’s Shandong Province in June 2014, making it the ninth State-level economic development zone in the country.
Supported by six pillar industries including shipping logistics, mechanical equipment and the automobile industry, the area is endeavoring to open itself up to Asia and the world, Li Fengli, director of Qingdao West Coast New Area Administration Committee, told the Global Times on Saturday during an interview at the sideline of the Bo’ao Forum held in South China’s Hainan Province.
The area has several advantages in terms of attracting foreign capital, including its solid industrial base, deep talent pool, comprehensive business facilities and strong research and development capacity, according to information from the committee.
Furthermore, an increasing number of local companies are now seeking to expand in countries and regions along the Belt and Road, including in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia, Li said, noting that ports in the new area are connected to more than 700 ports in over 100 countries and regions around the globe.
The Belt and Road initiative was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 as an innovative approach to connect China with the rest of the world, including Central Asia, South Asia, Europe and Africa.
“Thanks to the trend of globalization, common opportunities are shared by all,” noted the director. “The countries and regions along the Belt and Road need us, while at the same time, we need them too,” he added.
Qingdao West Coast New Area, covering 2,127 square kilometers of land and about 5,000 square kilometers of ocean, focuses on the development of the marine economy and emerging marine industries, according to the administration committee.
The economic output of the area grew 12.3 percent year-on-year to 287.1 billion yuan ($41.7 billion) in 2016, which accounted for about 30 percent of Qingdao’s GDP, official data showed.