Tianjin will give top priority to industrial restructuring as part of the ongoing efforts by the northern port city to sustain annual GDP growth.
Tianjin’s renewed focus came after its GDP growth fell to 3.6 percent last year from double-digit growth in the preceding years.
During the first six months of this year, the city’s GDP edged up by 1.5 percentage points compared with the first quarter, growing 3.4 percent to reach 992.7 billion yuan ($145.7 billion), showing signs of a slight recovery.
Decluttering Beijing’s industries and trying to transfer competitive sectors including intelligent sectors, part of the efforts to implement the synergic development strategy for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, is now a key effort to restructure Tianjin’s industrial layout.
The effort is expected to pay off to help reverse Tianjin’s downward GDP and the city revealed an ambitious target to build itself into an “intelligent coastal port”, said Sun Hujun, deputy head of Tianjin Municipal Development and Reform Commission.
A prime example is the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), which has attracted 238 Beijing companies during the first half with contractual investment value of up to 74.2 billion yuan.
According to Zheng Weiming, director of the administrative committee of TEDA, the area is highly “selective” in its industrial transfer campaign as it wants to ensure quality GDP growth. As a result, most of the firms in the area are from central State-owned companies, and also include emerging intelligence projects from JD and Baidu.
Zheng, however, admitted that, despite the selective approach, the area logged the highest GDP growth in the city of 7.3 percent.
Liu Gang, director of Economic Research Institute at Nankai University in Tianjin, indicated that the city s’ previous economy was highly dependent on investment and heavy industries. But it needs to move on to a new path driven by smart technology upgrading, he added.
“China has strong demand to boost intelligent industries and Tianjin can cater to the demand by helping move industries from Beijing,” he said.
To this end, the city unveiled a package of polices in mid-June, ranging from enterprises’ smart upgrading, cutting-edge internet transformation, as well as development in robotics, integrated circuit, software, information services to big data sectors.
Each relevant project could hit up to 50 million yuan and there are no limits for eligible companies to seek funding.