The State Council Approved the Planning and Development of Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone for Airport-based Economy

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China's First Pilot Zone for Airport-based Economy Sets Sail

Central Plains Economic Zone (CPEZ) grows flying wings.

On March 7th, the State council officially ratified the 2013-2025 Planning and Development of Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone for Airport-based Economy. This is China's first pilot zone of airport-based economy that is upgraded as national strategy.

The reply says that the construction of Zhengzhou comprehensive experimental zone for airport –based economy is of great significance for optimizing China's layout of air-freight service, pushing forward the development of airport economy, driving the coordinated development of new urbanization, industrialization and modernized agriculture of CPEZ, and promoting the all-round opening-up of China's mid-west region.

Relying on aviation key position, and supported by modern comprehensive transportation system, airport-based economy is a new kind of economic pattern featuring on providing high drilling speed, high quality, high added value and service, and participating the division of international market, so as to attracting the congregated development of air-transport industry, high-end manufacturing and modern service industry.

With the in-depth development of economic globalization, air-transport industry is becoming an important solution for the allocation of high-end production factors in the global range, and the promotion of national and regional competitive force. Airport-based economy turns to be the "new engine" in driving the development of economy with time goes on. Statistics by National Civil Aviation Administration shows that, by the end of 2012, there are 51 cities out of 27 provinces (district or municipality) had raised 54 planning or concepts of airport-based economy in succession. And among China's 34 provincial level administrative regions, 29 of them have listed detailed measures of civil aviation industry in their 2013 Government Work Report.

In the process of designing and developing the CPEZ, Henan Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government, together with the National Civil Aviation Administration, jointly introduced the strategic planning of Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone of Airport-based Economy. On November 17 of 2012, at the time of the approval of the CPEZ strategy, the state council also agreed the construction planning of the experimental zone. On March 7th of 2013, the official reply of the nation's first experimental zone of airport-based economy was issued by the state council. It demands that the zone should focus on the promotion of congregation of high-end manufacturing industry and modern service industry, on the promotion of integrated development of industry and city, and on the promotion of foreign-oriented cooperation and system-mechanic innovation, so as to find a new pattern of transforming the mode of development by way of airport-based economy, to take efforts in building the experimental zone as the nation's pilot zone of airport-based economy, and to provide strong support for the CPEZ construction as well as the opening and development of mid-west region.

The construction of Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone of Airport-based Economy is based on advanced conditions of, first, obvious advantage in geographical location. Zhengzhou airport locates in the central part of China, and is superior in air space. It is convenient to be connected with the main air route of all directions for intermediate transit, and can easily cover the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Chengdu-Chongqing and other major economic areas, and hence to be endowed with unique advantage of air transportation. Second, efficient land and air interface. Zhengzhou airport is China's large-scale air transportation hub. The Plan will launch the construction of 4 runways which is of great potential for further development. The city of Zhengzhou is also an important hub of China's highway and expressway. A modern comprehensive transport system is come into being, featuring with air-land connection, multimodal transport, fast inside and smooth outside. All these will further enhance its position as China's comprehensive transportation hub. Third, sound development of industrial base. The increase rate of cargo capacity of Zhengzhou airport ranks in the top position among the nation's major airports. By the end of 2012, Foxconn had produced 105 million apple mobile phones, which is 70% of its global production. A flagship production base of Foxconn's smart phone has come into being. By now, there are over one hundred Foxconn's associated manufactures have settled down, and bringing in over one hundred industries and 400 supporting enterprises. A large group of enterprises in electronics, bio-pharmaceuticals and air transportation industries gather around rapidly, and present a sound momentum of interactive development of airport hub construction and air related industry. Fourth, enormous vitality of opening-up. Inside the zone, the nation's first comprehensive free trade zone, bonded logistics center, export processing zone and railway container terminal are all intensively constructed, together with continuous improvement of port function of airway, railway and highway, the area is strong in development force of open economy. In 2012, the import and export total of experimental zone has reached 29.4 billion dollars.

The Plan points out that the development of Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone for Airport-based Economy is conducive to the optimization of the air cargo layout to make the nation's civil aviation industry more competitive internationally. The Experimental Zone will boost the development of the country's airport-based economy, and carry forward the economic structural upgrading and the transformation of the pattern of economic development. It will also contribute to forging an inland height of opening-up that will thus blaze a new path to the comprehensive opening-up of the central and western regions. Furthermore, it will service as a strategic breakthrough point for new and coordinated development of urbanization, industrialization and modernization.

The Plan clearly defines the strategic position of the Experimental Zone as an international air logistic hub, a modern industrial base led by aviation economy, an opening-up gateway to the inland regions, a modern aerotropolis, and a core growth pole of the Central China Economic Zone.

As a core component of the Zhengzhou-Kaifeng Integration Area, the Experimental Zone includes Zhengzhou Airport,the Comprehensive Bonded Zone and its surrounding industrial parks. It has a total area of 415 square kilometers, bordering the counties of Zhongmu, Xinzheng and Weishi. Taking clustering and urban-industrial integration as its developing concept, the Experimental Zone will form "Three Areas and Two Corridors", namely, the Airport Area, the Comprehensive Service Area in the north, the High-end Manufacturing Cluster Area in the south, the Ecological Protection Corridor along the South-to-North Water Diversion Channels, and the Ecological Corridor along the No.107 National Highway.

The Plan stipulates respective and specific requirements regarding the development of "the competitive international air logistics hub", "the upscale industrial system based on airport economy" and "the green and smart aerotropolis". In line with the Plan, the Experimental Zone will further expand its cargo capacity and develop itself into a national air logistic hub by developing freight transit and distribution services. It will also boost air-rail transits, and gradually develop into a major passenger transit center. Relying on air cargo network, it will take full advantage of global resources and the foreign and domestic markets, to forge manufacturing and consumption chains of unique and competitive industries. The Experimental Zone will boost cluster development of high-end manufacturing and modern serve industries, thus building an airport economy based on air logistics and sustained by aviation related industries. Drawing upon international experiences, the Experimental Zone will be a model for integrated urbanization and industrialization by building an upscale comprehensive service area to support the aerial and industrial development.

The Plan covers the period of 2013-2025. It sets the goal of building the Experimental Zone into a "Mega Hub" by 2025. With an anticipated cargo and mailing throughput of 3 million tons, it will have already been in a leading position among its domestic peers with significant improvement of status as an international air cargo hub. It will have formed "Mega industries" featuring innovation, high-end and international cooperation, having a expected turnover of one trillion RMB from the aviation related high-end manufacturing industries. It will also develop itself into a "Mega Metropolis" with its operating and business environment fully in compliance with international practices. A modern aerotropolis with total import and export of 200 million U.S. dollars thus becomes an inland opening-up height leading the development of the Central Plains Economic Zone, extending services across the country and connecting the whole world.

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