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Biz hub set to break ground in 2010
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Shanghai will start construction of its Hongqiao Business Park next year in an effort to create a major new engine for economic growth.

"Building the business park is a strategic move for Shanghai to become a global trade center by 2020 and a gateway to the Yangtze River Delta region for traders and investors," Xue Quanrong, deputy director of the Shanghai Hongqiao Business Park Administrative Commission, told a news conference yesterday. "The park has strengths in its location, convenient transportation and urban planning."

The local government has decided the park will have a 26.3-square-kilometer central zone bounded by the A20 Highway on the east, Huaxiang Road on the west and the A9 Highway and Beidi Road Highway on the southern and northern edges. The central area will be anchored by the nearly completed Hongqiao transport hub complex that's connected to the Hongqiao Airport. Changning and Minhang districts will share the future business center, Xue said.

The distance between the park and major cities in the Yangtze River Delta region is no more than 300 kilometers, while modern air, road and rail links at the transportation hub put the park within easy reach.

Xue said the new zone will become a magnet for modern service industries, including logistics and exhibitions. It will also become home to the headquarters of many domestic and overseas businesses.

Xue said the commission will roll out favorable policies to attract companies. The incentives are still under study.

The new zone will also benefit from urban planning best practices and avoid becoming a void on nights and weekends.

"We will allocate a 2.1-square-kilometer area for building residential properties, along with other cultural and entertainment facilities, making the park a bustling area integrating work and life," said Xue.

Initial construction will start next year on a 1.4-square-kilometer core commercial area adjacent to the transport hub and the airport. It will feature offices, hotels, entertainment facilities, shopping malls and exhibition sites and should be finished in two years.

Xue said the output of the core business area may exceed 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) by 2015 and 15 billion yuan by 2020.

Media reports said earlier that the total output of the business park may eventually catch up with the Pudong New Area, which totaled 310 billion yuan last year.

A government administrative regulation is currently being drafted to guide future development of the business park. Its administrative commission will eventually comprise 30 government officials.

(Shanghai Daily September 24, 2009)

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