Tianjin's Binhai New Area to be China's next industrial centre?

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Considering the immense significance of special economic 'boom' zones in China's path of industrialization, the Binhai New Coastal Area in the eastern part of Tianjin is set to follow the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta in becoming China's third major industrial heartland. Covering over 2,200 square kilometres and with a population of 1.3 million, Binhai New Area's claim to be China's next economic powerhouse after Shenzhen and Shanghai's Pudong was greatly enhanced when it was mentioned in Hu Jintao's speech at the 17th National Congress in 2007 as an emerging economic zone that would play a major role in reform, opening up and independent innovation. Hailed for its modern manufacturing, research and development, and shipping and logistics capabilities, by 2010 half of Binhai's industrial output is expected to come from high-tech industries.

In an interview with Leaders managazine in 2005, Pi Qiansheng, Director of the Binhai Administrative Committee, identified four directions for the general development of the Binhai region:
The modern manufacturing, researching and transforming base; the international material-circulation center; the symbolic region of the modern international city; and a new seaside city that is suitable for living.
Advocating a 'brand-new vision to perceive the development of the Binhai New Coastal Region,' Director Pi expected Binhai not only to provide services to the Bohai Rim but to
exert influence over northeastern, northwestern, and northern China. It should construct transportation advantages, technology-research advantages, information-service advantages, and also human-resource advantages.
The President of Rohm Semiconductor Co Ltd, investing in Tianjin since 2000, in an interview with China Daily in December felt that the government's official endorsement of the Binhai New Area would see the city's financial and logistics services and sourcing environments vastly improve, and while
cheap labour used to be the top attraction for us... now we are also looking at Tianjin's financial and logistics services and local sourcing. We may shift some logistics and sourcing functions to local service providers.
The Ministry of Commerce and Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) agreed to establish a 'China Training Center for Outsourced Services' to support the development of the Binhai New Area and to  provide a 'new mode and mechanism for training of talents for outsourced services.' Recently the Binhai area has also emerged as an incubator for industries that adapt military products for civilian use, with potential projects involving aviation, aerospace, shipbuilding, electronics, and new materials and new energy.

Hong Kong's The Standard on Tuesday proclaimed Tianjin as being in 'pole position' to lead China's next wave of financial reform and to deliver the same spur to the national economy as did the development of Shenzhen and the Pudong area of Shanghai in the 1980s and 1990s.

Additional links and sources:
Binhai singled out as country's next economic engine, China Daily 11/08/07

Tianjin Binhai to attract foreign investment, China Daily 29/12/07

First training center for outsourced services in China set up in TEDA, Xinhua Newswire, 02/08/07

Tianjin becomes new base for military-to-civilian technology transfer, Xinhua 29/12/07

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