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Tianjin's New Area Plan Approved
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The central government has given approval to the port city of Tianjin for its development zone dubbed 'Pudong of North China' by international investors.

In a statement released yesterday by the State Council the Binhai New Area was officially designated an experimental zone for comprehensive reform with short-term emphasis being placed on financial and related services.

Tianjin is 120 kilometers southeast of Beijing and Binhai is 50 kilometers away from the city's downtown area.

For the last couple of years the Binhai plan has been promoted by the municipality's officials as of key importance for the port city's future development. But the significance of the Binhai New Area will be far greater than the potential benefit for just one city.

At a meeting yesterday on the promotion of Binhai's development organized by the State Council, Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said, "The development of Binhai New Area is of strategic importance in China's economic and social development. Its development will promote the growth of Beijing and Tianjin municipalities, Hebei Province and areas around the Bohai Sea."

The Binhai New Area, which covers nearly 2,300 square kilometers, will be turned into a gateway to north China, a modern manufacturing and research base and an international shipping and logistics center, he said.

A series of experimental schemes will be launched in Binhai, according to the State Council announcement, including financial initiatives, land administration methods, a bonded area and preferential tax policies.

The government will allow Binhai to pilot key reforms related to financial services and the capital market and to be more receptive to international business development. Experimental schemes may also cover areas of venture capital, foreign exchange administration and offshore banking.

The reform in land administration will focus on efficient use of available resources. Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Area will be set up in the new area with emphasis being placed on international distribution, global procurement and export processing.

The development of the bonded area will be open to international partners, the announcement indicated.

(China Daily June 7, 2006)

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