China's regional strategies represent new development philosophy
China's Xiong'An New Area and the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao were among the discussions at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan. Participants say these regional strategies represent China's 21st century development philosophy.
An aerial view of an area of Rongxian county that will form part of Xiong´an New Area, a megacity that is being planned in the Hebei province, China, 10 May 2017. [Photo: IC]
Many Chinese cities or areas went down in history as the country's flagship reform and opening up efforts, and they represented the different development phases of China. Shenzhen was the beginning of the country's trade-driven growth phase. Shanghai's Pudong financial district symbolized the investment-driven phase. And now, China's new initiative, the Xiong'An New Area in Hebei, is part of the country's next phase.
"Versus right now, Xiong'an is representing a new age. This is when we are switching to innovation driven development phase," Yvonne Zhou, Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group said.
At its one year anniversary this April, the zone already attracted and registered more than 100 high-tech companies. China's top three tech powerhouses -- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent -- have all launched projects there. However, much infrastructure is still needed to accommodate companies and talents. The New Development Bank, formed by BRICS nations, is in talks with the local government to join in on the building of Xiong'An.
"For the first round of infrastructure in Xiong'an, we can provide quick financing, at the same time we also focus on the new way of doing business, making infrastructure that is not really physically what we see in other cities, but making it more innovative, make it more digitalized, make it more green and sustainable," Vice President of the bank Xian Zhu said.
For the past few years, the Chinese government has been active in promoting regional strategies. Apart from Xiong'An, there is also the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge [File photo: Xinhua]
"On the coordinated regional efforts. Before, China was like, many different companies were in free market competing with each other, so that's great for the GDP growth. But now we are talking about more coordination, more differentiated positioning of the city so the whole cluster actually could become a much more powerful base than one individual city," Yvonne Zhou added.
Experts say these ambitious regional strategies represent the development philosophy of today's China. A recognition that further openness and innovation is the way to succeed in the 21st century.