The North China port of Tianjin has received the central government's nod for an ambitious plan that will help its Binhai New Area (BNA) become another Chinese boom area.
A statement released on Monday by the State Council, China's cabinet, said BNA has been designated an experimental zone for comprehensive reforms and will be built into a third economic powerhouse after Shenzhen and Pudong of Shanghai.
The statement said that the area, covering 2,270 square kilometers, will become the gateway to North China, a modern manufacturing and research base and an international shipping and logistics center.
The new coastal area, dubbed "Pudong of North China", will launch a series of reform initiatives including financial reforms, land administration methods, a bonded area and preferential tax policies.
Binhai will open more of its financial institutions to foreign investors and adopt pilot reforms in sectors related to financial services and the capital market.
It will also launch experimental schemes in the venture capital market, foreign exchange administration and offshore banking.
The high-tech enterprises in the area will get a 15 percent tax cut, while the central government also decides to earmark funds to aid the construction of the area.
Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Area, covering an area of ten square kilometers, will be set up in the new area with focuses on international distribution, global procurement and export processing.
The development of Binhai New Area was written into the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010) for national economic and social development in March this year.
The gross domestic product of Binhai New Area stood at 160.8 billion yuan (about 20.1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2005 and is expected to reach 1,000 billion yuan (about 125 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020.