Chengdu Eastern New Area in Sichuan Province was launched on May 6, and Chongqing held a symposium on May 9 to expand its main urban areas consisting of 21 districts.
How will the building of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle reshape the regional industrial-economic geography? How can regions between Chengdu and Chongqing seize the opportunity to achieve rapid development? On May 21, deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) from Sichuan and members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Sichuan began a heated discussion on the issue.
Liu Ting’an, Deputy to the NPC and Vice Mayor of Ziyang City: The influence of the building of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle on the middle regions can be described as a rare golden opportunity. Chengdu and Chongqing, as the center of the regional economy, play a significant role in driving the regional economy.
Yang Xiannong, NPC Deputy and Honorary Dean of the Marxism College of Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences: The cooperation between Chengdu and Chongqing will inevitably strengthen the driving effects of Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle on the surrounding areas. This kind of driving effect is expected to reshape the regional industrial-economic geography and realize the transformation of the regions between Chengdu and Chongqing from “backwardness” to “rise”.
He Tiangu, member of the CPPCC and Director of the Sichuan Institute of Cultural and Historical Studies: An important influence of the building of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle is to accelerate the agglomeration of production factors to the regions between the two cities. With the upgrading of industrial structure featuring the development of high-end industries such as finance and technological innovation in the core cities, other industries will naturally spill over to the surrounding areas. The middle regions will be the first to be affected and will be the most immediate beneficiary.
Chen Lang, NPC Deputy and Vice Mayor of Neijiang City: The middle regions should not sit back and wait for the driving effects from Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle. Instead, industrial complementarity is the fundamental “power source”. The regions between the two cities should build a complete industrial chain together around their complementary advantages with Chengdu and Chongqing. If there is no complementarity between local industries and industries in Chengdu and Chongqing, the regional advantage of the middle regions cannot be turned into a development advantage.
To undertake the driving effects of Chengdu and Chongqing, the middle regions should vigorously enhance the competitiveness of the city. Specifically, they need to strengthen infrastructure construction, optimize the government environment, and attach importance to the development of culture and health, as well as attract more people who are willing to come and settle down here. Otherwise, seizing the opportunity and promoting development will be empty talk.
Liu Ting’an, Deputy to the NPC and Vice Mayor of Ziyang City: It is suggested that Sichuan and Chongqing apply to the central government together to take the middle regions as a special area for the building of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle and give special policy support. As Chengdu and Chongqing also have their own development tasks, if the middle regions rely solely on the two cities to drive their development, the pressure on the two cities will be very enormous. It is suggested that the central government set up an open platform for high-level development in the middle regions and build a demonstration zone for Sichuan-Chongqing integrated development, etc., so as to form a development pattern featuring multi-region driving effects where Chengdu and Chongqing as two core areas drive the development of the middle regions.
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