Zhuhai high-quality development exceeds expectation
The city exhibited high-quality, leapfrog, and exceptional socioeconomic development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), it was announced Dec 24 at the 9th Plenary Session of the 8th CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee.
Overall, the city outperformed during the period as regional GDP is expected to exceed 350 billion yuan ($54 billion), up 60 percent from 2015. Per capita GDP is at the level of a high-income economy.
In 2019, the number of the permanent residents exceeded 2 million, a population growth rate ranking first in Guangdong Province, and an urbanization rate exceeding 90 percent.
High-quality development over the past five years is seen in the formation of five 100-billion-yuan ($15-billion) industrial clusters related to integrated circuits, biomedicine, new materials, new energy, and high-end printing equipment.
Zhuhai Free Trade Zone [Photo by Ye Qiuming / Zhuhai Media Group]
The city is home to more than 2,200 hi-tech enterprises, and Gree Electric Appliances has edged into the world's Top 500 companies. Local research expenditure accounts for 3.15 percent of regional GDP, and patent ownership has reached 88.48 per 10,000 persons.
Zhuhai has attracted 65,000 talents since initiating a Talent Program in 2018. It leads the Pearl River Delta with a net talent inflow rate of 6.07 percent for 2019.
Breakthroughs were achieved in Reform & Opening-Up, as the city released China's first electronic certificate and bank card for business entities in 2015, and gained approval for the construction of a Comprehensive Cross-Border E-Commerce Pilot Zone in 2018. Zhuhai is rated 97th worldwide for soft business environment in December 2020 by the National Academy of Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and UN Human Settlements Program, and Hengqin Free Trade Zone has generated 500 institutional innovations.
Zhuhai-Macao cooperation has been deepened over five years with policies allowing Macao single-plate vehicles to exit/enter Hengqin from 2016, opening of the new Hengqin Checkpoint, and the approval of Macao tour guides and construction enterprise to practice in Hengqin in 2020.
To date, there are more than 6,000 Macao-funded enterprises in Zhuhai, of which over 3,500 are in Hengqin New Area. Construction of the Guangdong-Macao Cross-Border Financial Cooperation (Zhuhai) Demonstration Zone is underway, while Hengqin will be bolstered as a Deepened Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Zone and International Leisure Tourism Island.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge [Photo by Li Jianshu / Zhuhai Media Group]
Five-times nominated as one of China's Top 10 Happiest Cities, Zhuhai has leading air quality and improved infrastructure. Passenger volume at Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport exceeded 10 million in November 2018, and annual cargo throughput at Gaolan Port is over 100 million tons.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Zhuhai Airport Urban Rail Transit Phase I, additional Banzhang Mt tunnels, Honghe Bridge, and Jinqin Express Road have opened to traffic. Construction of the Hezhou-Gaolan Port Expressway, Xianghai Bridge, Airport Urban Rail Transit Phase II, and Xingye Express Road is progressing.
The National Civilized City has allocated more than 70 percent of fiscal expenditure to livelihoods, and dedicated the best land lots for public spaces, including Xiangshan Lake and Sea & Sky (Haitian) parks, Zhuhai Opera House, and Museum & Planning Exhibition Hall. New campuses have opened of Zhuhai Women's & Children's Hospital, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, and Zhuhai Technician College.
Local fix-asset investment totaled 905.5 billion yuan ($139 billion) with annualized growth rate of 10 percent. Major industrial projects such as the deep-sea marine engineering equipment of COOEC-Fluor Heavy Industries, lithium-ion battery separators of Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology, and Ocean Spring Resort Phase II are operational. First units of Guishan Offshore Wind Farm were connected to grid for power generation, and Chimelong International Ocean Resort Phase II is under construction.