Dalian will start building an industrial park on Changxing Island in cooperation with Singapore later this month, Mayor Xia Deren has said.
The venture in the port city of northeast China's Liaoning Province will be the second for Singapore in China. The first was the Suzhou Industrial Park in east China's Jiangsu Province.
Jurong International, a Singapore company that specializes in industrial and urban planning, will help Dalian design the park.
"We hope we can take advantage of Jurong's international and rich management experience to build an excellent industrial park," Xia said during a group interview in Beijing. Also a deputy of the National People's Congress (NPC), Xia is in Beijing to attend the annual session of the country's top legislature that ends on Friday.
Dalian officials will undergo training in the first part of the project, which will begin when Xia visits Singapore after the NPC session, he said. The first group will comprise 40 officials.
The greatest gain for Suzhou in its cooperation with Singapore was the training that more than 100 civil servants received in the city state. "These officials played a crucial role in Suzhou's economic success, and we want to draw upon the Jinagsu city's experience."
Dalian's economy used to rely a great deal on heavy industries such as shipbuilding and chemicals. But for the past decade it has been trying to develop sectors such as finance and information industry (IT) in it's modernization bid.
In recent years, the city has become a major outsourcing destination, particularly for software, for firms based in Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The additional revenue generated by companies engaged in outsourcing has been growing at an average annual rate of 50 percent, reaching 8 billion yuan (US$1 billion) last year. And the growth is expected to keep up its momentum in the coming years, Xia said.
What's more, such companies today employ about 60,000 people and have created 300,000 more jobs in related industries, he said.
'Summer Davos Summit'
Dalian will get another chance in September to showcase its achievements when the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum holds its first Annual Meeting of New Champions there.
The meeting -- dubbed the "Summer Davos Summit" -- in the scenic city, regarded as one of the most livable cities in China, is expected to attract companies undergoing rapid growth, powered by innovation, and leading firms with global reach.
"We are keen to welcome executives of top global companies to see our city," Xia said.
(China Daily March 12, 2007)