The Binhai New Area will provide a beachhead for economic reforms designed to transform Tianjin from an industrial hub to an economic center for North China by 2012, acting mayor Huang Xingguo said yesterday.
A man studies an artist's impression of the remodeled Binhai New Area of Tianjin at an exhibition in Beijing in this file photo. Wu Changqing
Speaking at the opening of the municipality's people's congress, Huang said that, as the key to Tianjin's future development and closely related to regional and national economic prosperity as a whole, Binhai will push for innovations in administration and experiment with a series of crucial reforms.
"We will spare no effort to increase the ratio of direct financing, developing private equity funds and introducing all categories of financial institutions," Huang said.
"We will expand our work on insurance reform and set up a national base for financial reform and innovation at the Binhai New Area."
The Dongjiang Bonded Harbor Area in Binhai will also see new measures for customs administration.
"We will adopt special policies on customs administration, trading, investment and shipping at Dongjiang and do our utmost to build up a free harbor area," Huang said.
But building up the infrastructure of Dongjiang will not be easy, Yu Rumin, president of Tianjin Port (Group) Co Ltd, said.
Enriching the functions of the bonded area will be a challenging mission, he said.
"This year, we will work more to enhance the designed functions of the bonded area in international trade, transit trade and the export-oriented processing industry," Yu said.
Located in Binhai, Tianjin Port is expected to reach a turnover of 450 million tons of goods and 15 million standard containers within five years.
"Eventually, we aim to concentrate a large number of industrial segments in the Tianjin harbor area and enhance the economic development of the pan-Bohai Bay area," Yu said.
By 2012, Tianjin's position as an international harbor city should be strengthened and its position as the economic center of North China should be established, Huang said.
By that time, Tianjin's GDP will be 1 trillion yuan ($138 billion).
The Binhai New Area of Tianjin, which covers nearly 2,300 sq km, is designed to be a gateway to North China, a modern manufacturing and research hub and an international shipping and logistics center.
A series of experimental approaches are planned as part of the Binhai development, including financial initiatives, bonded areas and preferential tax policies.
The Dongjiang Bonded Area in the Binhai New Area will emphasize international distribution, global procurement and export processing.