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Next stop for reform: Tianjin
Time£º2013/3/4 Clicks£º4122
By Zhang Zhao ( China Daily)
After successes in Shenzhen and Pudong, China's leaders are looking northward
The reform of China's urban economy is advancing northward along the nation's coastline, said Huang Xingguo, mayor of Tianjin.
"The reform started in Shenzhen in the 1980s. Then it was Shanghai's Pudong district in the 1990s," he said. "And in the early 21st century, it's Tianjin."
The government of Tianjin has set targets to make the city into an economic hub in northern China, an international port city and an eco-friendly home to its residents.
"Shanghai is the financial center of China, and neighboring Beijing is the nation's capital and a cluster of the world's major financial institutes, so Tianjin doesn't have to become a financial center, but we will improve the financial service system and build a national financial innovation base to meet the requirements of a regional economic hub," Huang explained.
The city now has 2,400 equity investment fund companies and management organizations.
There are also many financial leasing companies, which are dealing with 25 percent of the service nationwide.
Large-scale State-owned companies, privately owned companies and overseas companies are the three main forces that are boosting the city's fast development, according to the mayor.
A total of 152 global Fortune 500 firms have opened offices in Tianjin. The city attracted $55.4 billion foreign capital over the past five years, according to an annual government report announced in late January. At the same time, the city used domestic investment worth more than 848.3 billion yuan ($135.98 billion).
Local companies are also exploring the market abroad, with foreign trade reaching $115.6 billion in 2012.
The private sector is playing an increasingly important role, taking 40 percent of the city's economy.
The State Council pinpointed Tianjin as an economic center in North China, an international port city and a top eco-city with amiable living environment in 2006. The development of Binhai New Area is part of a national strategy.
This "has provided valuable opportunities as well as challenges", said the mayor.
In the Binhai New Area, more than 260 projects started operation last year. As well, construction on nearly 300 key projects has begun, including the Chow Tai Fook Tianjin Tower.
Local authorities are also accelerating construction of the Xiangluowan central business area and the Yujiapu financial center.
At the same time, the city government has also emphasized human resources. "It is imperative to nurture high-level technicians to upgrade Tianjin's industries," said Sun Chunlan, the city's top political leader.
"We will be consistent in expanding opening-up and attracting more top experts and professionals to Tianjin to continue increasing the city's internationalization and reputation," Sun said.
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