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  • Zhengzhou Model in high-standard opening up
    Source:Where Zhengzhou  Date:4/12/2022  

    Zhengzhou will steadfastly deepen reform, pursue higher-standard opening up, and promote high-quality development driven by innovation. As a new hub of reform and opening up, Zhengzhou is building a huge interconnected ecosystem of innovation, finance, industry, talent, and technology.

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    Photo: Li Xinhua

    Big-picture Thinking

    April 1st, 2022 marked the fifth anniversary of the Zhengzhou Area of China (Henan) Pilot Free Trade Zone. After years of exploration, the Zhengzhou Area has become fertile ground for institutional innovation, powering the economic development of the whole province.

    In 2021, nearly 16,000 new enterprises were registered, and more than 40 new innovations were made in the Zhengzhou Area, while utilized foreign investment reached USD1.301 billion, a year-on-year increase of 13.3%, and foreign trade exceeded 40 billion yuan. System integration reforms of the four silk roads, cross-border e-commerce, futures trading, and business climate continue to be at the forefront of the country.

    By the end of 2021, there were 91,000-odd newly registered enterprises in the Zhengzhou Area, four times more than before the establishment of the Pilot Free Trade Zone, with an average of about 80 new ones per day. Though occupying only 1% of the city's land area, the Zhengzhou Area has contributed 20% of newly registered enterprises and 30% of foreign-funded enterprises and foreign investment to Zhengzhou.

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    Photo: Zhu Zhe

    At the same time, Zhengzhou continues to implement new projects. In 2021, Zhengzhou signed 197 manufacturing projects, each worth more than 100 million yuan, with BYD, xFusion and other companies, with a total contract value of 218.4 billion yuan, accounting for more than one-third of the investment attracted by the city. Two hundred and eighty-one projects, including the Regional Headquarters of UIT, started construction; 284 projects, including Futaihua's 5G mobile phone precision mechanisms, were put into production; and 577 "three major transformation" projects, including the ZMJ's smart factory of fully mechanized mining equipment, are advancing smoothly. The investment in technological upgrades accounted for over 40% of the total industrial investment. In 2022, Zhengzhou will promote 900 major industry and information projects and guide the implementation of more than 500 technological upgrade projects. In addition, Zhengzhou's Longhu Financial Island, known as Henan's version of Lujiazui since its first design, officially opened on March 4th.

    Looking at the big picture, Zhengzhou is expanding opening up in all aspects.

    Innovation in rules and regulations

    In recent years, Zhengzhou has greatly improved its business environment, pushed forward reforms to ensure that all related services can be accessed on one website, enriched the application scenarios of the "Zhenghaoban" app, and upgraded the "Qinqing Online" platform to benefit both people and enterprises. In addition, Zhengzhou has enhanced the efficiency of e-government services, optimized the government service hotline, and fully implemented the joint acceptance model that one lead agency coordinates other related departments to finish approval within a limited period. In March 2022, Zhengzhou was identified as an innovation demonstration city for optimizing the business environment in Henan Province.

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    Photo: Li Xinhua

    To boost urban development, the Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area will expand from "1+4" to "1+8" cities. While creating a "soft environment" for business, Zhengzhou will continue to cultivate "hard power". The "1+8" Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area will be built along the lines of one central city, one sub-central city, one belt, and multiple points.

    A new development goal has been set for the expanded Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area. By 2025, the GDP of Zhengzhou National Central City is expected to reach 2 trillion yuan, and the GDP of Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area is predicted to reach 6 trillion yuan. The Zhengzhou-Kaifeng-Xuchang core area will increase in strength and take full advantage of the regional coordinated development mechanism to become the core engine supporting and leading the integrated and high-quality development of the Central China City Cluster. By 2035, Zhengzhou will evolve into a national central city with international influence, and the Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area will be built into a modern metropolitan area featuring high-quality economic development, high-level openness and innovation, high-quality public services, high-standard ecological environment, and high-efficiency collaborative governance.

    While keeping in line with international high-standard economic and trade rules, Zhengzhou will work to promote the relocation of state-owned enterprise headquarters to Zhengzhou, deepen cooperation with foreign-funded enterprises, bring in "unicorn" companies, and continue to contract high-quality investment projects.

    In addition to top companies, Zhengzhou also welcomes the greatest minds. Over the past few years, Zhengzhou has repeatedly emphasized that investment promotion and talent attraction should be advanced in parallel.

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    Photo: Ma Jian

    Underpinned by opening up based on rules and related institutions and the implementation of talent and project policies, Zhengzhou has delivered results in terms of technology, talent and market, increasing its international competitiveness and offering a new model of all-round opening up in China.

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