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Harbin economy reaping benefits of new area

Updated : 2019-06-06

By ( China Daily )

More than 10,000 businesses were registered in 2018.

Harbin, the capital city of China's northernmost province Heilongjiang, aims to propel its local economy to new heights thanks to the Harbin New Area, according to local authorities.

Harbin plays a leading role in the all-round revitalization of the province's economy, said Wang Wentao, governor of the province, at a recent conference.

Wang said the rise of Harbin New Area will lead the province's campaign to promote higher-quality development.

Harbin New Area was approved by the State Council in 2015. Covering parts of Songbei, Hulan and Pingfang districts in Harbin, the planned area reaches 493 square kilometers.

Harbin New Area has a long history of business connections with Russia.

"The development of the new area centering on cooperation with Russia is in line with the central government's efforts to fortify business ties between Russia and China," Wang said.

As the 16th national-level new area in China approved by the State Council, Harbin New Area has been innovative since its beginning, local officials said.

In 2018, the provincial government said Harbin New Area was a historic project, which entailed the construction of a modern, new Heilongjiang. It signified the province's determination to build the new area into a world-class economic hub with high international standards.

The ambition was rooted in the province's overall plan to modernize the new area in the past three years, local officials said.

The new district has actively undertaken a mission to receive population transfer from the city's old urban areas. By 2030, Heilongjiang will build a new urban area housing more than 2 million residents, as per the new area's administrative committee.

To support the local development and better integrate the area's resources, the provincial and city administrations have given more autonomy to the new area's administration.

The local administration is authorized to govern and approve 561 items without reporting to higher-level governmental departments.

In 2016, a package of new measures to streamline the administrative procedures, including business registration, project approval and the issuing of licenses were launched in the new area.

On June 7, 2018, the administration committee of Harbin New Area was officially set up.

At the end of September, the Harbin committee of the Communist Party of China and its discipline commission moved to the new area.

On Dec 5, 2018, Harbin New Area recruited nine general managers for local State-owned enterprises from across the country, which was regarded as an innovation in human resources reform.

The new employment system in Harbin New Area is very attractive, said Lang Guolin.

Lang quit his position as a civil servant and was later appointed general manager of a company in the area.

Gao Dawei, a standing member of the Harbin CPC committee, said the committee must get rid of the old way of employing people in governmental organizations and SOEs, and innovate the talent recruitment and management system.

The number of new businesses registered in Harbin New Area in 2018 reached 10,205, according to local statistics.

Local officials said the Harbin New Area made impressive achievements in 2018. A large number of economic indicators continued to take the lead in the province and the city with the new area's GDP growing 8.5 percent from the previous year. Heilongjiang's GDP growth was 4.7 percent and Harbin's growth rate was 5.1 percent in 2018, as per local statistic bureaus.

Zhang Qingwei, Party secretary of Heilongjiang, noted that "the planning of Harbin New Area should be aligned to high standards, highlight a clear spatial and functional layout, and explore a new pattern of development and construction".

Governor Wang suggested the new area stick to a growth mode driven by scientific and technological innovation and deepen the cooperation with scientific research institutes to aid the transfer of research results.

"To become a driving engine of the province and the city, the new area should extend its industrial chains by building complementary industrial clusters," Wang said.

He expected the new area will be built into Harbin's new urban area with an attractive environment for living, business and tourism.

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