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Pillar industries underpin economy

Updated: 2018-06-29

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The steel, petrochemical and paper industries will remain as pillars of Zhanjiang's economy, said a senior government official earlier this month.

"We recorded good progress last year and will continue our efforts to foster a better production and business environment for these industries," said Huang Liping, deputy head of the Zhanjiang Development and Reform Bureau, which is the regulator of the local economy.

Total industrial output for the three industries reached 38.1 billion yuan ($5.76 billion) in the first five months of this year, up 2.8 percent from that of last year. The first five months also saw an added value of 30.87 billion yuan for the industries, up 4.1 percent year-on-year.

Last year, total output for the three sectors at local industrial parks, where most factories are based, hit 187.64 billion yuan, up 30.44 percent year-on-year.

Authorities are now working on industrial park facilities and promoting cooperation between companies and universities for technological research and development, as well as encouraging trade by enhancing the city's logistics network, said Huang.

Zhanjiang, located at the southwest end of South China's Guangdong province, is also well positioned as a southern shipping hub.

"Going forward, we are planning a multichannel network including road and air links," Huang said, adding that a new rail route linking Shenzhen, South China's financial and economic center, and Zhanjiang will start at the end of June.

"The route will be mainly for visitors and local residents, but more routes for freight shipment are under consideration," said Huang.

New industrial parks for related businesses alongside the steel, petrochemical and paper supply chains are also being planned, to help attract more companies to set up branches in the city and boost professional training, said Huang.

"We believe skilled professionals and talent are essential to an industrial upgrade," said Huang.

Earlier in April, the city rolled out 30 policies to attract businesses and professionals, with top professionals certified by the local government set to receive annual remunerations of about 600,000 yuan.

Research centers can also enjoy financial support from the government, ranging from 300,000 yuan to 1 million yuan, while startups stand to receive up to 10 million yuan.

Similarly, the city is encouraging technological innovation for industrial upgrading.

"We also plan to cut capacity and rein in emissions to achieve long-term development," said Huang.

Zhanjiang's industrial upgrading measures are part of Guangdong's overall development strategy, in line with preparations for the upcoming Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan from the central government.