Nantong prospers as Shanghai's northern gate
Nantong's protection of its natural environment has seen it became a location of great beauty on the Yangtze River. Provided to China Daily
Prefecture-level city's government lures business and investment from the doorstep of China's foremost financial center
The Nantong government hosted a conference in Shanghai on April 26, seeking to attract new business and investment to the prefecture-level city in Jiangsu province.
Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River near where it empties into the Yellow Sea, Nantong is seeking to dovetail its development with the regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta.
The government said it welcomes entrepreneurs and investors to take advantages of the opportunities in Nantong. More than 1,000 entrepreneurs, officials and scholars from across the Yangtze River Delta attended the event.
At the closing of the conference, the Nantong government signed 39 cooperation agreements covering investment, technology and industrial development, the last of which totaled 73 billion yuan ($11.46 billion).
Two years ago, the Jiangsu provincial authorities asked Nantong to build itself into the north gate of Shanghai. Since then the city has accelerated its construction of a high-speed railway link and highways to connect with those from Shanghai.
Nantong has also taken active part in cooperating with Shanghai's Chongming Island in creating what it calls a "world-class ecological island". The city has earmarked an area of 150 square kilometers along the riverside, facing Chongming Island, as an ecological preservation belt.
Fei Gaoyun, vice-governor of Jiangsu, said he hoped Nantong would take the opportunity to expand its cooperation with Shanghai, and that in turn Shanghai can support the development of Nantong. He added that Nantong can provide a broad space for Shanghai to relocate its noncore urban functions.
Song Yijia, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai municipal government, said that Shanghai's development must be based on the help and support of the other cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and that the coordinated development of and connectivity between Shanghai and Nantong looks set to embrace new opportunities with joint efforts by the two sides.
In his keynote speech at the conference, Nantong Party Chief Lu Zhipeng said the regional integration development strategy of the Yangtze River Delta prompts Nantong, a city where the strategies of developing the Yangtze River Delta and the Yangtze River Economic Belt overlap with each other, to cooperate with Shanghai.
He added that Nantong welcomes all projects so long as they meet the requirements of the central government's industrial policies and the needs of the city's industrial planning.