China Focus: New growth engines fostered in old industrial base

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 26, 2020
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CHANGCHUN, July 26 (Xinhua) -- In northeast China's Jilin, a major farming province, satellites are making their way into paddy cultivation by producing images of large fields in short time and offering information such as growth and seedling rate of the crop.

"With the help of satellites, the output forecast can be more accurate and farming more profitable," said Wang Liying, managing director of a local company engaged in promoting advanced technologies in the agricultural sector.

In Jilin, the satellite information industry is expanding rapidly. The province is home to Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd., China's first commercial remote sensing satellite firm.

Sixteen Jilin-1 satellites, developed by the company, have been launched to promote remote sensing data and services for forestry, shipping and resource and environmental monitoring.

The satellite industry is among a number of new growth engines fostered in the old industrial base in recent years. Northeast China, which includes Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, was among the first regions in the country to become industrialized.

However, over time, it gradually fell behind coastal areas in part due to shrinking resources and problems like overcapacity.

Founded in 1953 in Changchun, capital of Jilin, the state-owned FAW Group is seen as the cradle of China's auto industry. FAW has stepped up efforts to reinforce innovation, research and development and made breakthroughs in fields including new energy and key technologies.

The enterprise has started building a test base for new-energy vehicles and intelligent connected vehicles in Changchun, which is expected to provide the automaker with whole-process R&D and test capabilities for passenger cars.

Innovative technology is at the heart of the success of many enterprises in the old industrial base. "With the advantage of traditional manufacturing, we now take scientific and technological innovation as the core driving force," said Liu Haifu from a plant of Northeast Light Alloy Co. Ltd. in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province.

According to Liu, the company has developed wing panels for China's home-made C919 passenger aircraft. In the first half of this year, orders for its high-end alloy increased 26.3 percent year on year, while sales of high-end alloy products soared 59.8 percent.

The northeast industrial heartland is also stepping on the gas to incubate high-tech enterprises. In 2019, the value added of the high-tech manufacturing in Liaoning and Heilongjiang rose by 18.7 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively, according to provincial authorities.

In Jilin, the number of high-tech enterprises soared 89 percent last year. A more diverse and innovative industrial structure has been created.

The northeastern region is also speeding up construction of 5G-related projects. Jilin plans to build 7,500 5G base stations this year to cover all its prefecture-level cities.

The output value of high-tech industries in the three provinces accounted for only 12.8 percent of the total industrial output value, or about half the national average, data with China Academy of Northeast Revitalization showed. Some local high-tech enterprises encounter bottlenecks in their growth, such as lack of technical personnel, incomplete industrial support facilities and insufficient local sales.

The heavy chemicals industry and strategic emerging industries in northeast China should seize the opportunity provided by new infrastructure construction and grab larger domestic market share, said Liu Weiqi, a researcher with the academy.

"We expect northeast China to pay more attention to the development of micro, small and medium-size high-tech firms, increase support to them, and promote their transformation to quality growth," said Liu Jiren, chairman of leading software developer Neusoft, which is based in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province. Enditem

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