China has a large number of old cities that are struggling to find ways to rejuvenate their local economies.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and three other government agencies have issued a joint circular providing for the establishment of 12 demonstration zones in these cities to help them find new growth models.
The demonstration zones will span across the nation, three in northeast China, two in the eastern China, four in central China, and three in the western region.
The government has pledged preferential policies in financing, investment, land and other areas for these cities.
As to land policy, cities with demonstration zones are encouraged to reclaim and reuse industrial or mining wasteland.
Big projects in these zones will enjoy favorable treatment from China Development Bank in terms of credit line application, access to industrial investment fund and corporate bond issuance.
The National Development and Reform Commission will set up a specific fund under the central government budget to support key projects in these demonstration zones.
Efforts will be made to support the buildup of technology infrastructure in these zones in a bid to transform them into innovation platforms.
China has a total of 262 cities with resources-oriented economy and 120 old industrial cities, according to the latest official data.
Local governments are required to submit reports at the end of each year about the progress of the establishment of demonstration zones in their respective jurisdictions.
The five central government agencies will carry out an annual assessment and launch the second batch of demonstration zones at a proper time.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 21
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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