Speech by Gou Lijun at the Second 10+3 Media Cooperation Forum held in Tianjin on May 19, 2008

14:25, May 26, 2008

Distinguished senior official of the ASEAN Secretariat, Ms. Linda Lee Joo Tiang,
Distinguished president of People's Daily, Mr. Zhang Yannong
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, colleagues from the mainstream media in the ten ASEAN countries, and China, Japan and South Korea gathered once more in the Tianjin Binhai New Area, under the theme of "Beijing Olympics Games: Sharing the Success, Sharing the News" to mutually exchange experiences and expand cooperation and friendship. Now, I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone on behalf of the Government of Tianjin and the Tianjin Binhai New Area Administrative Committee; and express heartfelt thanks for the long-term attention and support for Tianjin and the Binhai New Area!

2008 is a crucial year for the development of Tianjin. As a co-host city of the Beijing Olympic Games, we are going all out to complete the preparation work. In September this year, the Tianjin Binhai New Area will hold the Summer Davos World Economic Forum. Tianjin and the Binhai New Area are gaining more attention from domestic and international media. It is of great significance that the 10 +3 Media Cooperation Forum will discuss "Going into the Binhai New Area and experiencing modern Tianjin.” Below, I will introduce relevant information about the Tianjin Binhai New Area, mainly in four sectors.

Ⅰ The Tianjin Binhai New Area is the development area with most potential in China. Tianjin is the economic center of the Bohai Rim region, and the biggest opening coastal city in northern China. In 2007, Tianjin realized a GDP of 507 billion Yuan and per capita GDP of 6,050 U.S. dollars. Tianjin will gradually transform into an international port city, economic center in the North and a city that is prosperous, civilized, well-developed in science and education, and with complete facilities and a beautiful environment. The Tianjin Binhai New Area, in the eastern coastal areas of Tianjin, has a planned area of 2,270 square km, a 153 km coastline and population of 1.52 million. It is China's most dynamic and most attractive modernized economic area with the greatest potential.

The first reason is its obvious geographical advantages. The Binhai New Area has a comprehensive port with world's sixth throughput, landlocked by vast hinterland, covering 12 provinces and cities of northern China. It is the closest starting point of the Euro-Asia continental bridge in the East; and it is an important maritime departure point for neighboring landlocked countries such as Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Before the Beijing Olympic Games in August of this year, the second expressway between the two cities of Beijing and Tianjin will open. The Beijing-Tianjin inter-city high-speed railway, at a speed of 350 kilometers, will also be complete and put into use. At that point, it will only take about 40 minutes to travel from Beijing to the Tianjin Binhai New Area.

The second reason is the area’s solid industrial base. The Binhai New Area is home to seven leading industries: electronic information, automobiles and components manufacturing, the oil and marine chemical industry, modern metallurgy, food processing, bio-pharmaceuticals, and new energy and and materials. New dominant industries such as aviation and space, financial logistics, and outsourcing services are on the rise. In 2007, the area’s total industrial output realized a value of 628.3 billion Yuan, accounting for 62 percent of Tianjin’s total; and the proportion of the value of high-tech industrial output occupies 47 percent of the total.

The third reason is the center of function. The Binhai New Area has state-level development zones, bonded areas, high-tech development zones, export processing zones, a bonded port, comprehensive bonded zone, and bonded logistics park. The Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA) maintained the best investment environment for development for 10 consecutive years. The Dongjiang bonded port area is the special customs supervision region with the largest port area, the best policy and the most complete functions in China; and it will be built as a free trade port zone in line with common international practice.

The fourth reason is a high degree of opening up to the outside world. The Binhai New Area first implemented a one-stop service for initial consultation and the whole charge d'affaires, an investment environment in line with international practices has been established here, and a #96667 24-hour service line has been opened here. Now, there are more than 15,000 foreign-funded enterprises, including 89 of the World's Top 500 enterprises, such as Motorola, Otis Elevator, Toyota Motor, and Samsung Electronics. A total of 23.1 billion U.S. dollars of foreign capital had been actually utilized by the end of 2007. It is the region with best investment conditions, the lowest operating cost and the highest rate of return.

The fifth reason is the gathering of numerous science and technology resources. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where Binhai New Area is located has 27 percent of the nation’s scientific and technological personnel. It has 31 state and provincial-level engineering centers, 70 enterprise technology research and development centers, 41 foreign-invested research and development centers, 52 post-doctoral workstations. As a national vocational education reform pilot area, Binhai New Area has trained a large number of high-quality technical workers in cooperation with Germany and Spain and formed multi-level personnel support.

The sixth reason is extensive prospect for development. The size of the Binhai New Area is four times that of the Pudong New Area, twice that of Hong Kong, and more than 300 square kilometers larger than Shenzhen. It has 1,214 square kilometers of saline or alkaline land for development and use, which is rare in large- and medium-sized cities in China and abroad. A total of more than 10 billion tons of oil resources and 193.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves have been found in the Bohai Sea. Every year, 20 million cubic meters of geothermal resources can be extracted, and the annual output of crude salt reaches up to over 2.4 million tons.

II The Chinese government has made acceleration in the development and opening up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area an important strategy. It serves the overall economic and social development of the entire nation and it is the blueprint of the new century.

This year is the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Since 1978, the central government persists in implementing regional development strategies from South to North, and from East to the West; and has made remarkable achievements in promoting China's economic and social development.

In the 1980s, the Central Government decided to establish Shenzhen, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Shantou and other Special Economic Zones, and has driven the rapid development of the Pearl River Delta region. In the 1990s, the Central Government decided to develop Shanghai's Pudong New District; and this has led the rapid development of the Yangtze River Delta area. At this stage of the new century, major economic and political issues yet to be resolved are the gaps in development between the North and South, and the East and West in China; as well as promoting coordinated regional development. There is an urgent need for a new economic growth pole following the formation of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area.

With unique geographical advantages and good base for development, the Tianjin Binhai New Area has become an important part of Bohai regional development and an important strategic step in the entire nation’s development. Accelerating the development and opening up of the Binhai New Area is conducive to enhancing international competitiveness of Beijing, Tianjin ,Hebei Province and the Bohai region. It can support eastern China’s lead in realizing modernization; in effect, boosting central and western regions, especially the regional development of the "Three Norths" (Northeast, Northwest and North China). The Tianjin Binhai New Area will help form an interactive relationship between East, West and Central China; bring out complementary advantages; enhance mutual promotion and common development; and coordinate regional development.

In October 2005, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee proposed that we continue to develop special economic zones and the Pudong New Area in order to promote better conditions during the development and opening up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area. In March 2006, the Fourth Session of the Tenth National People’s Congress made Binhai New Area development and opening up part of the country’s "11th Five-Year Plan."

In May 2006, the State Council of China issued “Views on issues pertaining to promoting the development and opening up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area.” It defined the guidelines, basic principles, major tasks and functions of the Binhai New Area’s development. In October 2006, the Sixth Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee once again proposed to promote the Tianjin Binhai New Area and other areas under better conditions to develop and open up.

In October 2007, the 17th CPC Central Committee pointed out that the special economic zones, Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, and the Tianjin Binhai New Area need to play greater roles in the reform and opening up, as well as in independent innovation.

On December 31, 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Tianjin. He mandated that Tianjin needs to be at the forefront of the country in areas such as developing a fast growing and balanced economy and society, and in promoting social harmony. He hoped that the Binhai New Area would be the vanguard for the Scientific Outlook on Development. The Binhai New Area has entered a large-scale development phase, as development shifts from a city development strategy to a national development strategy.

According to the State’s target requirements, the Binhai New Area will rely on Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province; and service the Bohai area, "Three Norths," and Northeast Asia. It will strive to become a gateway to northern China for the outside world; an advanced, modern manufacturing, research and development base; the North’s international shipping centre and international logistics centre; and gradually the new Eco-Habitat City with economic prosperity, social harmony and a beautiful environment.

III Tianjin Binhai New Area will use innovative ideas to develop and open up

The Binhai New Area is developing during an era of economic globalization and regional economic integration; and according to a trend of scientific development. Compared with the development and opening-up in Shenzhen and Pudong, the Binhai region encounters a different domestic and international situation; and the development environment and conditions have changed. We should conscientiously not only learn from the success in domestically and internationally advanced areas; but combine characteristics of the times and the Binhai New Area and welcome innovative ideas to apply the Scientific Outlook on Development into the entire process of development and opening up.

We utilize the strategy of reform and opening up as our guide for development, led by scientific and technological innovation and supported by high-end industry, to improve quality of services and service capabilities; and develop environmental protection.

We continue to implement an all-round opening-up strategy led by reform and opening up。Major evaluations and reforms come first, using reform to promote opening up and development; and take the lead in establishing a socialist market economy, making it a gateway to the outside world in northern China.

“Led by scientific and technological innovation” means making independent innovation the core strategy of accelerating development. It will integrate production and research to make scientific and technological achievements into practical productive forces. We aim to make the Binhai New Area the undertaking and proliferation base of advanced technology, as well as the birth place and industrial base for new advanced technology.

“Support by high-end industry” means vigorously developing the advanced manufacturing industry; promoting the shift from manufacturing to research and development operations; increasing the proportion of high-end service industries such as financial logistics, service outsourcing, and headquarters economy; and building a high-end, high-quality, high-tech industrial structure.

"Upgrading the quality of services" will further improve the function of seaports and airports; build a ground transportation network serving the "Three Norths" region and the Circum-Bohai Region; accelerate the construction of the northern international shipping centre and logistics hub. All these will strengthen the role of the Binhai New Area in driving Tianjin’s development; and promote the Bohai region’s economic revitalization.

“Develop environmental protection” means we should attach great importance to ecological construction and environmental protection; vigorously develop various social undertakings; build economic prosperity, social harmony and a beautiful environment in the New City; ensure that people working and living in that area enjoy a place with clear water and blue skies every day, and share the fruits of reform and development.

In development planning, an "axis," a "belt," three “urban areas” and eight “industrial zones” will be set up in the TNCD (Tianjin New Coastal District). A hi-tech industry axis will appear along the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu Expressway and the lower reaches of the Haihe River and a economic marine belt will emerge along the coastline and the Haibin Expressway. This axis and the belt will form a T-shaped structure, along which lie three eco-towns: Tanggu, Hangu, and Dagang; and eight industrial zones: an advanced manufacturing zone with a planned area of 97 km2, a hi-tech zone with an area of 36 km2, a chemical product zone with an area of 80 km2, a CBD with an area of over 10 km2, a seaport logistics zone with an area of 100 km2, an airport-based industrial zone with an area of 102 km2, and a coastal leisure and tourism zone with an area of 75 km2. While constructing the Tianjin Port, a port-based industrial zone will also be set up.

In the development of functional areas, we are putting the emphasis on a multi-project park, the development of industrial clusters, the intensive use of resources, and the integration of functions.

The multi-project park is a place where industrial projects within various development parks are concentrated.

The development of industrial clusters means we will give full play to the advantages of all functional areas, co-ordinate the industrial layout, give prominence to development characteristics, make the relevant industries bigger, realize intensive development and aggregation.

Intensive use of resources means to strengthen the awareness of conservation and environmental protection; adhere to the intensive use of resources; change the traditional way of economic development; and achieve maximum economic efficiency and development while consuming the fewest amount of resources, with as little environmental cost as possible.

Functional integration building means to focus on the overall situation and long-term development and the overall construction of infrastructure and municipal utilities; and co-ordinate the development of social welfare activities and public service facilities.

IV Tianjin Binhai New Area is showing vigorous development

In 2007, the Binhai New Area achieved a GDP of 236.4 billion yuan and fiscal revenue of 48.1 billion yuan. Tianjin’s port cargo throughput reached 310 million tons and had a container throughput of 7.1 million TEUs. Major economic indicators each showed approximately 20 percent growth. This year, in the first four months, the GDP of Binhai New Area grew by 22%, the industrial output value grew by 30.1%, and the investment in fixed assets grew by 37.7%. The development and opening up work has been comprehensively pushed forward.

Accelerate the construction of major projects. A group of industry and service industry projects such as the refinery and petrochemical integration of 1 million tons of ethylene, the Airbus A320 aircraft, a new generation of carrier rockets, 3 million tons shipbuilding, Bluestar New Chemical Materials, ZTE Corporation, Tianjin industrial base are accelerating establishment. And the 360 projects valued at more than 50 million yuan, under construction or newly kicked-off, in industry, service, agriculture and fishery, and infrastructure, make up a total investment of 700 billion yuan. These projects are set to be completed within three to five years to ensure sustained and rapid economic growth.

Carry out the construction of infrastructure gradually. Binhai New Area sector of the Jingjintang Expressway second-line, Binhai Avenue, Central Avenue, Container Terminal phase 1 are in advancing in construction. To meet the demands of rapid economic and social development, innovative ideas for work have been adopted, and infrastructure financing efforts have been strengthened by use of BT and BOT. A 3-year-construction planning has been launched. This year, 45 billion yuan of the 66 key construction projects will be completed. And within three to five years, any infrastructure lagging behind will catch up; and a quick, open, convenient and scientific three-dimensional transport network will take shape.

Continue to deepen the planning work. On the basis of completing the general urban layout of the Binhai New Area and land use planning, we have accelerated and adjusted each plan according to the location’s function. The planning of 11 special programs on integrated transportation, ecological construction, environmental protection, and municipal utilities are accelerating. Meanwhile detailed and control planning has picked up the pace. By the end of this year, the controlled planning will cover 2,270 square km in the Binhai New Area, ensuring that each piece of land is well planned and used.

Speed up the development of the Industrial Functional Area. Dongjiang Bonded Port Area has completed a cargo throughput of 1.528 million tons in the first quarter; an International cruise ship base has already started construction, as well as more than 10 tall buildings in the Xiangluowan CBD area; planning and preparatory work for the Yujiabao CBD area has stepped up. Lingang Industrial Area has already reclaimed 20 square kilometers of land from the sea, of which 18 square km has achieved “seven accesses and site leveling" (traffic, electricity, water, drainage, telecommunication, cable TV, coal gas, and natural land consolidation); three 10,000-ton terminals are put into use. The indicator system and overall planning system for the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city has been identified, the main investment service center was completed, and the first phase of three square kilometers of land has been consolidated. The construction will officially begin this July.

Push forward the establishment of scientific and technological innovation system. A sci-tech development layout of "one zone and three gardens" has been defined. 12 national sci-tech innovation bases as Sci-tech Industrial Base for the Civil Aviation of China (IBCA), the International biomedical innovation park, the International biomedical joint research institute, and the industrial biotechnology R&D center are under construction; in addition to 20 provincial-level Research and Commercialization Centers on artificial cell engineering, electric vehicle research, modern fishing technology; as well as 10 traditional techniques research centers on steel, chemical industry, medicine; and 56 major high-tech industrialization projects.

Actively promote synthetic reform. According to the overall plan formally approved by the central government, and in order to resolve the tough problems both current and long-term in Binhai New Area, we formulated a two-year plan of reform, initiated 10 key projects, sped up reforms in finance, scientific and technological innovation, land management, foreign-related economy, administrative systems, so to ensure the key areas and key links make substantive breakthroughs.

Eco-city building yielded initial results. We are implementing a comprehensive environmental regulation of "two lines, three roads and six districts." Along the sectors in Binhai New Area of Jinbin Road, Jingjintang Expressway, 1.6 million woody plants have been planted. A 3-year environmental management scheme has been launched to encourage the development of recycling economy and implementation of stringent environmental assessment system. This year the urban sewage treatment rate has reached above 70%, and before 2010 the annual growth shall be 10 percentage points. Furthermore the days with air quality above Level II standards totaled more than 300.

Ladies and gentlemen, the development and opening-up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area has provided tremendous business opportunities for investors, including those from the ASEAN countries, Japan, and South Korea. We warmly welcome more Chinese and foreign enterprises and people of insight to seize the opportunity to actively participate in the construction and development of Tianjin Binhai New Area, and achieve mutual benefits.

We hope that reporters from the mass media pay greater attention to Tianjin, get to know Tianjin, and actively help to promote the Binhai New Area, as well as put forward constructive suggestions.

Finally, I wish you pleasant work in the Tianjin Binhai New Area.


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