Public, private firms settle under guidance of central government
The Xiongan New Area, North China's Hebei Province, is being forged into a new benchmark economic zone that will be domestically and globally influential, Chinese analysts said on Sunday.
Established April 1 last year, Xiongan is designed to advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and relieve pressure on Beijing from non-capital functions.
Construction of infrastructure got underway in Xiongan last year.
The new area is about 100 kilometers southeast of Beijing and spans Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei. The building of Xiongan is a historic project that must comply with rules of city construction and should be conducted at a proper pace, the Xinhua News Agency said in an editorial.
Construction on the 30-minute city-to-city railway between Beijing and Xiongan began on February 28. Construction of the main structure of Xiongan's civic service center was completed in March.
An employee at China Railway Engineering Corp's Shanghai civil engineering company told the Global Times his company is overseeing the railway from Hebei's Bazhou to Xiongxian.
"We've just started, so things still look the same. But give it a year, everything will be different," he said on March 22. He declined to give his full name.
Infrastructure in the Xiongan New Area paves the way for future growth based on high-tech, intelligent and innovative industries, Wang Danqing, a partner at the Beijing-based Acme consulting firm told the Global Times on Sunday.
The deployment of industries in the new area has also been improving over the last year as State-owned enterprises and private firms have started to settle in Xiongan with guidance from the central government, Wang said.
By the end of September, 48 enterprises had set up offices in the new area including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and China Telecom, according to the official xiongan.gov.cn website.
"After the transport infrastructure including the Beijing-Xiongan railway and Beijing's new international airport in Daxing district finish construction by 2020, the new area will embrace more resources, industries and talent to transfer non-capital functions out of Beijing," Wang said.
Xiongan is expected to explore a novel growth model that differs from the traditional development path of cities, Tian Yun, director of the China Society of Macroeconomics Research Center, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The new area, "a crucial strategy for the next millennium," will set the standard for a model economic zone and offer a new growth path for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Tian said.
"What's new in the development of the local industries and public services will be the next focus." A high-quality Xiongan construction plan will be unveiled later this year, Tian predicted.
Xiongan is expected to develop a finance industry and cooperate with domestic and foreign financial centers, domestic financial news site cnstock.com reported on Saturday, citing Wang Yiming, deputy director of the State Council development research center.
China and Britain will establish a financial technology hub in Xiongan, the Ministry of Commerce said on February 1, the second day of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's three-day trip to China.