Shandong enters new stage of opening-up

Shandong has been further pushing forward opening-up on larger scales, in more areas and at higher levels by integrating itself deeper into Belt and Road Initiative international cooperation, forging a more efficient and transparent business environment, bringing in intelligence and capital, and promoting innovation in systems and mechanisms.

Going out: deeply integrating into the Belt and Road Initiative

Zang Jiatao, a commercial tenant in the construction materials market of Linyi Shopping Mall, started conducting business accounting and taking stock as the mid-year approached; his net profits had achieved a 30 percent year-on-year growth. Linyi Shopping Mall is situated at the old areas of Linyi; however, Zang’s revenue mainly comes from markets of foreign countries along BRI routes.

“The procurement of export commodities in custom areas of Qingdao has been included in the supervision model of integrated custom clearance. I benefited a lot from the policy,” Zang said.

Since September of last year, merchant tenants like Zang can send their goods directly to any port within Qingdao’s custom areas on condition that they declare their exports at Linyi Customs.

By developing new business forms and models of foreign trade, Shandong has effectively helped the small and medium foreign trade enterprises that do not know how to trade or do not dare to do business. More than 2,100 small and medium export enterprises were newly developed in 2017.

Thanks to innovation of methods of overseas investment and advocacy of production capacity cooperation between international communities, Shandong can export its innovative goods to countries along the BRI route, thus helping to build a global industrial system and speeding up its new and old kinetic energy conversion of the real economy.

According to Shi Qidong, deputy director of the Asian branch, Shandong provincial department of commerce, 20 nation-class overseas business cooperation zones have been validated and four of them are Shandong enterprises in countries along the BRI route.

Weichai Group India established an engine plant in India in 2014, and was profitable within a year of going into production. It has become the leading company of its type in the South Asian market. Haier group invested $50 million in setting up a plant in Russia in 2016 and manufactured 100,000 made-in-Russia refrigerators last year. Haier Pakistan achieved 96 percent brand awareness in local areas.

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Employees in Weichai’s Indian factory. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Bringing in: advance restructuring by attracting capital and intelligence

Parker, a 58 year-old Korean Canadian, is an international leading figure in industrial foaming techniques. Despite his academic attainments, he chose to invest all his learning in industry at Qingdao International Academician Park. As it turned out the harbor introduced business partners to him, offered a production site and funded the decoration and renovation of his plants, which not only removed his anxiety, but also greatly touched him.

In the past two years, the park has contracted with over 100 academicians.

Foreign investment isn’t only composed of foreign capital. It also involves advanced technology, managerial experience, marketing channels and high-end talents.

In terms of attracting investment, Shandong places more emphasis on Fortune Global 500 companies and other industrial champions, stresses investment of industry chains, and invests in talents, intelligence and technology.

Thanks to the opening-up, more and more foreign-owned enterprises are flourishing in Shandong. The foreign capital actually used by Shandong now amounts to 121.05 billion yuan ($18.54 billion), an annual increase of nine percent, and ranks second in China. In 2018, eight Fortune Global 500 companies like AEON, Itochu, and MAN invested in 17 programs in Shandong.

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A night view of Qingdao’s Licang district, where Qingdao International Academician Park is located. The district aims to make breakthroughs for China’s industrial upgrade and forge a new path of innovation. Photos provided to China Daily

Activate development: enhance opening-up through system innovation

Industrial parks are the main territory of the real economy, the test field of reform and opening-up and the leaders of the radiation and driving effects of regional economy.

The Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone stresses innovative systems to benefit enterprises and develop industrial clusters.

“We seek to bring in one leading project, collect a group of upstream and downstream enterprises and foster one industrial cluster. We mainly conduct vertical integration of industrial chains on 100-billion yuan enterprises,” said Wang Yueyi, Work Committee Secretary and Administrative Committee Director of the Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone.

SAIC-GM Dongyue Powertrain Ltd CO helps centralize over 440 automobile part manufacturing companies, and has built a 100-billion-yuan industrial cluster of advanced manufacturing enterprises. LG and Foxconn play a leading role in the electronic information industry cluster with their export and import values topping Shandong’s.

Shandong has been working on building pilots of innovative systems, generalizing experience of free trade zones, establishing characteristic industry parks and developing special customs supervision zones. It has been seeking greater opening-up by activating a development zone system, optimizing the environment, strengthening industries and innovating industry models. Rapid growth can be seen in the China-South Korea (Yantai) Industrial Park, the Weihai China-South Korea Free Trade Demonstration Zone of Local Economy Cooperation, and the Sino-German industrial parks in Jinan, Qingdao, Weifang and Taian.

Shandong is building a team with strategic and forward-looking vision, a spirit of market exploitation, innovation, managerial capacity and good mastery of global trade disciplines to work hard for even greater opening-up and higher-level development.

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Haier-Yoruba Economic Park. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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China-Russia Tomsk Timber Industry and Trade Cooperation Zone, a State-level overseas economic and trade cooperation zone backed by Shandong. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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