New economic drivers go into top gear at Weifang high-tech zone
Technicians at Weichai Power, a leading company in the Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, carry out quality inspections at the production line. [Photo provided to China Daily]
The Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone is gearing up to promote high-quality economic growth, to support the province of Shandong's efforts to replace old economic growth drivers with new ones.
Leading companies including Weichai Power, GoerTek and Shengrui Transmission have announced 66 projects involving millions yuan investment, aimed at boosting their capacity on the innovation front.
Meanwhile, many small and medium-sized companies, such as Wohua Pharmaceuticals and Shandong Tianrui Heavy Industry, have developed their core competitiveness and maintained double-digit revenue growth in recent years.
The zone has implemented a series of measures — including the rollout of e-government application systems, so businesses can get certification or fill in forms online, and streamlined administration procedures — to extend the growth of companies.
Officials in the zone are required to take care of individual projects, so business demand can be served in the quickest and most efficient manner.
Chu Baojie, Weifang's director of communications and Party chief of the zone's working committee, said government officials should be encouraged to "race with entrepreneurs" to promote business development in 2016.
Chu noted that SMEs are a major driver in increasing technological innovation and replacing old economic development drivers with new ones.
"For SMEs, the competition to innovate is fierce and time is their lifeblood," he said. "We have to consider problems from the angle of the entrepreneur and help them solve problems in the most effective and efficient manner."
For the zone's government, supporting business development is a key task, while supporting the integration of industry and urban development is seen as equally imperative.
An urban development plan — tailor-made for the zone to support its internationalization, and put together by experts from the United States and Japan — was unveiled early this year.
Over the past 10 months, new traffic systems have been rolled out to upgrade the transport network. In addition, officials said 81 "pocket size" parks have been added to the zone. Other civic improvements have included the redecoration of exteriors of buildings and construction of retail precincts that combine fashion, leisure and entertainment — providing one-stop convenience for residents.
Apart from upgrading its infrastructure, improving the quality of its school system, seen as a vital part of the zone's internationalization, has been enhanced in recent years.
A total of 9 million yuan ($1.29 million) in cash performance bonuses were given to top teachers and school principals on Sept 7, to reward their contributions to education in the zone. The zone also announced it has invested 3 billion yuan to build 26 schools and kindergartens in recent years.