Economy in the Industrial Belt around Hangzhou Bay
In early 2003, the Provincial Commission and Provincial Government proposed the strategic decision to voluntarily bring Hangzhou in line with Shanghai, to actively participate in the regional cooperation and exchanges in the Yangtze River Delta, to grasp opportunities to go all out for the construction of the industrial belt around Hangzhou Bay, to hammer out the "Golden South Wing" in the Yangtze River Delta, and to give full play to Hangzhou Bay Region’s guiding effect in its integration with Shanghai and in the practice of opening up. The strategic goal is to make the Hangzhou Bay Region the assembling area of the advanced manufacturing bases in Zhejiang Province and a strikingly vigorous modern city cluster in the Yangtze River Delta.
The Around-Hangzhou Bay Region (hereinafter abbreviated as Hangzhou Bay) is located in the northeast part of Zhejiang Province and on the south wing of the Yangtze River Delta whose center is Shanghai. It consists of six municipalities (namely, cities divided into districts) including Hangzhou, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing and Zhoushan. The land area is 45.4 thousand square meters, which accounts for 43.8% of the total of the province and 45.3% of the land area of the fifteen cities along the Yangtze River Delta. Hangzhou Bay Region has a permanent population of 24.36 million (as per census 2000), accounting for 53.0% of the total population in the province and 29.6% of that in the Yangtze River Delta. Urbanization level of its residents reaches 50.87%, which is more than 1/3 above the national average. According to the Report on China's Urban Competitiveness issued by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, all the six cities in Hangzhou Bay are on the list of the 50 most competitive cities in China. Hangzhou Bay is the most developed area in terms of economy in Zhejiang Province and is also a crucial constituent of the Yangtze River Delta.
With excellent natural condition and abundant economic resources, Hangzhou Bay Region boasts a large gross economic volume and a high level of development. Hangzhou Bay Region is one of the highly developed and most vigorous areas in our country. Especially since the reform and opening up, the speed of economic growth in all the cities in Hangzhou Bay Region has been ranking high in the country.
Currently, all the cities and counties along Hangzhou Bay have established a batch of large-scale industrial clusters, such as timber industry in Jiashan, leather and warp knitting industries in Haining, chemical fiber and textile industries on Xiaoshao Plain, home appliance industry in Cixi, tie factories in Shengzhou, plastic products industry in Yuyao and garment factories in Ningbo. Theses industries have occupied strong positions in markets home and abroad. Take the chemical fiber industrial cluster for instance, of the top 30 enterprises in terms of sales revenue in the country, eight are located in Hangzhou Bay Region, making it one of the most important chemical fiber industrial clusters in China. What's more, the well developed chemical fiber industrial cluster provides textile industry along Hangzhou Bay with a strong upper stream industrial chain. The output of textile and fabric produced in Shaoxing county alone account for more than 15% of the national total.
High-tech industries are growing up in Hangzhou Bay region too. In the area which centers around Hangzhou and radiates along both banks of Qiantang River toward Shaoxing, Ningbo, Jiaxing and Huzhou, aggregate more than 70% micro-electronics enterprises in the province. A distinctive system of co-operation based on division of work has been developed. The scale of information products manufacturing industry in Hangzhou Bay Region accounts for over 80% of the provincial total and the scale of software industry accounts for over 90% of the total, and this region has become a new IT industry base in addition to Beijing, and Shanghai, etc.
According to Zhejiang Province’s Development Programming for the Industrial Belt around Hangzhou Bay, with Hangzhou Bay as the pioneer, Zhejiang will take the initiative in bringing itself more in line with Shanghai in such aspects as infrastructure, informatization construction, division of industry, energy exploitation and utilization, and environmental protection etc. Moreover, Zhejiang Province will try hard to accelerate economic integration in the Yangtze River Delta area. The framework for industrial development in the industrial belt around Hangzhou Bay can be summed up as: grasp such trends as the acceleration of the transfer of international industrial grads and industrialization of scientific and technological achievements, the interaction and fusion of the three industries, clustering development and the intensification of differentiated competition; on the basis of the advantage of regional block economy with distinctive features, take advantage of such resources as harbors and tidal flat; utilize second-mover advantage to reconstruct and upgrade the conventional and feature industries with competitive edges; vigorously develop hi-tech industries and develop heavy and chemical industry in harbor areas; choosing industries with favorable basic conditions, large space for growth, strong leading influence, large market shares and high profitability, integrating their relative advantages, and reconstructing relevant industries and develop zones; intensifying the construction of innovative, talent and circulation platforms; fostering the five key industrial clusters including electronic information, modern pharmaceuticals, petrochemical, textile and garment, and developing them into "pillar industries" so that they can exert an even stronger influence on the province’s participation in international economic competition; vigorously supporting the six growing industrial clusters including transportation facilities, advanced equipment manufacturing, new metal materials and products, paper making and paper products, home appliances and equipment and food processing and manufacturing; interactively developing the modern service industry and agriculture; generating a new industrial system featuring open cooperation, integrated innovation, dynamic optimization and high efficiency and low consumption between the industries and between the industrial clusters.
In the initial visualization of the development programming for the industrial belt around Hangzhou Bay , Zhejiang Province also has set a rough framework for the interactive construction of infrastructures in the six cities. The key points are as follows: speeding up constructions of express rail transportation between Shanghai & Hangzhou and the Huzhou-Jiaxing-Zhapu railway extension that will connect the railway with Shanghai Pudong railway; widening Shanghai-Hangzhou expressway, Hangzhou Bay Cross-sea Bridge and Hangzhou-Nanjing expressway; advancing the planning and construction of Channel 2 on Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo expressway; pushing forward the integrated construction of Ningbo-Zhoushan harbor basin; expediting reconstructions of inland river navigation courses of Changxing-Huzhou-Shanghai line and Hangzhou-Ningbo canal etc. On June 8, 2003, the construction of the Hangzhou Bay Cross-sea Bridge, which extends 36 kilometers, started. The bridge links Cixi, Ningbo, which is on the southern bank of Hangzhou Bay with Jiaxing and Pinghu, which are on the northern bank, making the distance between Ningbo and Shanghai shortened by 120 kilometers. This will accelerate the forming of the international metropolis circle in the Yangtze River Delta, which has Shanghai as its center.
Currently, top-level government officials in those cities in Hangzhou Bay region have reached a consensus: developing the industrial belt around Hangzhou Bay into "a newly developed urban area with important functions""an assembling area of foreign and private capital""the core area of advanced manufacturing bases" and "a trial area for innovations in system and mechanism".