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Mawei looks for growth to 'free trade garden'
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09:16, June 12, 2008

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Mawei district of Fuzhou is a prosperous land in the capital of Fujian province that is building itself into a "free trade garden."

The 296 sq km district is home to about 150,000 people - as well as the Fuzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, a port directly linked to Taiwan, and a culture deeply rooted in shipping.

The economic zone inside Mawei district has pioneered Fujian's most-open policies, attracted the most overseas investors and has the largest potential for economic growth.

Established in January 1985 as one of the country's 14 coastal zones that enjoy favorable policies, the Fuzhou zone has since expanded from 4.4 sq km to 13 sq km. It is the only one on the mainland that functions as a State-level open zone, a bonded zone, a Taiwan investment zone, a scientific and technological park and an export processing zone at the same location.

The zone's number of hi-tech "torch" projects and their technologies rank at the top of the mainland's first group of economic development zones, and its growth continues to accelerate economic expansion on the west coast of Taiwan Straits.

Mawei district's goal of building a community with comparatively comfortable quality of life was realized in 1997. Today it is working to build a garden-like urban quarter and a top free trade zone along the Taiwan Straits.

New plans

According to its plans, Mawei will promote development in Linpu New Area while cultivating new development in Kuai'an, Chang'an and Langqi. By 2010, urban sectors of the district will more than double to 23 sq km.

Improvements in transport will focus on projects that link Mawei with other parts of the province and the nation. Enhanced infrastructure will be built along the Shenhai expressway, Fuzhou port and Fuwen railway.

The west will be home to downtown communities and living quarters. Its eastern region will include Tingjiang, Qingzhou port area and Chang'an industrial zone.

Mawei Port inside the Fuzhou Economic and Technological Zone registered a 25 percent annual increase in volume cargo volume as it surpassed 1 million standard containers, ranking among the mainland's top 10 ports and drawing over 30 logistics powerhouses such as COSCO, Sinotrans and Maersk. It now has a 100,000-ton berth, two 5,000-ton berths, and a 7,500-ton passenger berth.

Mawei is keen to polish its business communities, mapping out a business district, two commercial communities and four special markets.

The trade center in the old downtown area will be upgraded into a business district with famous brands. Kuai'an and Chang'an will become two commercial communities.

Four special markets will focus on animal feed, tourism, Taiwan farm produce, and vehicles and auto parts.

While Mawei centers its tourism on the shipping culture, the district is improving its ecology to facilitate exchanges across the Taiwan Straits. Before 2010, it will build two sewage treatment plants in Chang'an investment zone and Langqi and renovate two more plants at Kuai'an and the downtown community.

Source: China Daily

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