Qingdao Economic Zone Booming

Thirty-three overseas-funded enterprises were established in the Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone in the first seven month this year, with 260 million U.S. dollars in investment, 83 percent and 71 percent higher than the figures in the same 1999 period respectively, official sources said.

Among the newly established projects, investment in nine surpassed 10 million U.S. dollars each, Business Weekly of Chinadaily reported Sunday.

The economic zone was established in October 1984. Approved by the State Council, it is one of the 14 economic and technological development zones in the country.

Jiang Jie, director of the zone's administrative committee, said that the development of the economic zone is essential to the whole city, noting "we have put introducing overseas funds at the top of our list."

To date, 1,173 overseas-funded projects from more than 50 countries and regions have set up in the zone, with a total investment of 3 billion U.S. dollars, he said.

Pillar industries in the zone include household electronic appliances, petroleum, pharmaceutical, mechanics, new construction materials and processing trade.

In 1999, the GDP of the zone soared to 786 million U.S. dollars,30 percent higher than in 1998. From 1994 to 1999, the zone's industrial output value increased more than four times, jumping from 3 billion yuan (about 363 million U.S. dollars) to 16.6 billion yuan (about 2 billion U.S. dollars).

The fast increase was attributed to the zone's sound investment environment, Jiang said.

Its Qianwan Harbor is a natural port with a yearly handling capacity of 22 million tons of cargo. The completed 200,000-ton ore dock is the biggest in Asia. North of the harbor are two piers for oil tankers, boasting a yearly handling capacity of 30 million tons.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/