As Ningbo keeps its eyes firmly affixed upon the future, the leading path towards scientific, economic and societal development has become the designated development zones. More than 20 such development zones have achieved a total output of more than RMB 700 billion, with revenue of over RMB 60 billion. The leaders have been the Ningbo Economic & Technological Development Zone, the Ningbo Petrochemical Economic & Technological Development Zone, accounting for over RMB 100 billion in output alone.
Integration and upgrading began in 2008, and the development zones have developed rapidly ever since. Presently, there are nine state-level development zones, 11 provincial-level zones and five zones at the city level. Another three zones are applying to become provincial-level development zones, including Cidong Industrial Zone in Cixi. Enterprises in these zones employ more than one million people and include 22,445 registered businesses.
The development zones have developed rapidly in part due to their attractiveness to foreign investors, with their natural advantages of proximity and supporting equipment. Many Fortune 500 companies have chosen development zones as the location for their companies. Lanxess of Germany, Total of France and the SK Group from the Republic of Korea have chosen Ningbo Petrochemical Economic & Technological Development Zone as the location for their new branches. Cixi Economic Development Zone and Hangzhou Bay New Zone are home to automobile and automobile parts giants Volkswagen, Geely and Bosch. BP, Mitsubishi Chemical and Sinopec have all made new investments in Daxie Development Zone.
In March 2012, the Ningbo Free Trade Zone and Cixi Economic Development Zone received recognition from the Zhejiang Provincial Government as examples of foreign investment in developing industries. The Nordic Industrial Park in the Zhenhai Economic Development Zone and the Precision Mould Industrial Park of the Yuyao Economic Development Zone were listed within the top 20 ‘Featured Brand Parks of Development Zones in Zhejiang Province’.
To this point, the development zones have played an important role in Ningbo’s economic development. With plans to further support these zones already in the works, the development zones should continue to see a great deal of investment and business success.
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