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  •   Beibu Zone: more growth for Guangxi --  2010-12-19

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     Beibu zone: Crucial role in southern coastal growth

    Qinzhou port is an important passageway for the export of goods originating in Southwest China.

    This former backwater, at the western end of China's southern coastline, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is now becoming a more attractive destination for investors.

    This is a result of the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone - a 42,500-square-kilometer area consisting mainly of the cities of Nanning, Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang - and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

    Guangxi lies next to the Pearl River Delta, to the east, and Southeast Asia, to the south, and is Southwest China's easiest passageway to the sea.

    The zone plays a major role in regional cooperation programs like the Pan-Pearl River Delta, Pan-Beibu Gulf, and the China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area (CAFTA).

    The Beibu zone's development plan was approved by the State Council in January 2008, and the region has grown into one of the most rapidly developing zones. Its average annual gross domestic product is growing 15.9 percent, or 2 percentage points higher than the rate of Guangxi overall.

    CAFTA was formed on Jan 1, 2010 as the world's third-biggest free trade area. It covers an area with 1.9 billion people, and has a combined gross domestic product of $6 trillion, and total trade worth $4.5 trillion.

    This gives Guangxi, especially the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone, new economic development opportunities.

    Recent achievements

    This emerging economic area has already shown great promise with Nanning Bonded Logistics Center, Qinzhou Bonded Area, Pingxiang Bonded Port Zone and Beihai Export Processing Zone.

    The regional government's Beibu Gulf office and the Guangxi Social Sciences Academy have established the Beibu Gulf Research Institute to study the zone's development and to provide consultation services to decision makers.

    That government has also established a special fund of 30 million yuan for the zone to attract talented people.

    Even greater proof of the zone's success can be seen in the large number of investment projects there.

    At the end of 2007, the China National Petroleum Corp began work on a large oil refinery at Qinzhou. The project went into operation on September 8, 2010.

    The Qinzhou government is now planning a series of downstream petrochemical projects in the Jingu Petrochemical Industry Park.

    In 2008, the Beihai Electronic Industrial Park attracted a number of electronics companies, including Japan's Sanyo and Taiwan's Liteon Technology Corp.

    Since 2006, the Beibu zone has got 43 large projects with more than 1 billion yuan in investment each.

    Total investment in the zone is expected to reach 400 billion yuan by 2020.

    In the future, Guangxi will highlight areas like automobiles, petrochemicals, power, non-ferrous metals, machinery, building materials, paper and pulp, electronic information, pharmaceuticals, textiles, garments, biological materials, and ship building and marine engineering equipment production.

    It is expected that Guangxi's industrial output value will grow four time in 2020 from the 2010 level.


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