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Latest General Overview of Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle

By JAMES ALEXANDERICHONGQING|Sep 25,2021

Chongqing– The 16th Annual Meeting of the Chongqing Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Council is being held between September 23rd and 25th. The CMIA is themed on Good tales of two cities- building the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle: opportunities and challenges. How about the latest development of the economic circle. Here are some.

On January 3rd, 2020, it was noted at the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs to promote the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.

The development of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle is a systematic project that requires top-level design and overall planning, with transport infrastructure construction and collaborative and innovative development among the priorities, according to Xinhua reports.

Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province have worked closely in order to create an important growth pole, and a new source of impetus to drive high-quality development.

Joint mechanisms for cooperation established

Chongqing and Sichuan have established a four-level cooperation mechanism to promote the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, which is comprised of the party-government joint meeting, coordination meeting at executive deputy mayor/provincial governor level, the joint office, and the special workgroup.

The joint office mutually dispatched 5 officials to implement mechanisms and normal operations between the twin cities, where seven special joint workgroups were set up to study and promote work in the fields of transport inter-connectivity, collaborative industry and innovation, land space, ecology and the environment, system innovation, and public services.

Implementation of plans for the mutual assignment of outstanding young officials in Sichuan and Chongqing has been initiated, and 50 officials are dispatched each year to counterpart municipal and provincial departments for training.

Moreover, the first batch of joint implementations tasks were listed for Sichuan-Chongqing, with 95 items for Sichuan-Chongqing having been achieved.

Joint implementation of major projects

A working mechanism for leaders from Sichuan and Chongqing has been established for contact over key projects in the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle. Eight projects marked for joint construction, including the Chengdu-Chongqing central line, the Chengdu-Dazhou-Wanzhou high-speed railway, and the upstream Yangtze River shipping center.

A total of 31 major projects have been forwarded for implementation in the year 2020. 

Joint establishment of cooperation platforms

Construction plans have been put in place for the coordinated development of nine cooperation platforms including the Wanzhou-Dazhou-Kaizhou Demonstration Zone and Sichuan-Chongqing Gaozhu New Area.

The construction of a pilot zone for the integration of southern Sichuan and western Chongqing has been launched through 10 cooperation platforms.

In particular, the Sichuan-Chongqing Gaozhu New Area has achieved rapid development, with 129 enterprises having settled in the industrial park that mainly produces auto parts destined for Chongqing. The park achieved a total industrial output value of 6.8 billion yuan in 2020, representing a year-on-year increase of 27.6% that yielded a profit margin and tax generation of 110 million yuan.

Chengdu Chongqing

Visitors explore the Jiangbei District Image Exhibition Center of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle. (iChongqing file photo)

Joint promotion of inter-activity

Sichuan and Chongqing have set up close local party and government exchange through frequent visits and cooperation in multiple fields, and signed 236 agreements between relevant departments, districts and counties in the year 2020.

Exchange and cooperation through associations, chambers of commerce, university alliances, group organizations and other social forces have become increasingly active, which has formed a positive trend towards mutual benefit whilst maintaining unique local characteristics.

Accelerated construction for interconnectivity

A two-pronged approach based on connected outreach and smooth internal operations has accelerated the construction of a modern infrastructure network through interconnection, management coordination, as well as safety and efficiency.

Passenger trains between Chengdu and Chongqing after quality improvements have reduced journey times to as little as 62 minutes. Construction of the Chengdu-Dalian high-speed railway has already started, and major high-speed rail lines leading out of Sichuan and Chongqing such as the Chongqing-Kunming, Zhengzhou-Wanzhou, and Chongqing-Hunan railways have seen accelerated construction. 

From a total of 27 planned expressways between Sichuan and Chongqing, 13 have been completed and 6 are under construction. The Yongchuan-Luzhou Expressway, Yuguang Branch Line and other expressways will soon be completed and opened to traffic.

Construction of the T3B terminal at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport and the fourth runway has begun.

Cultivation of a modern industrial system

Focus on industrial development, base construction, and strong chains has played an active role in building a modern industrial development pattern through division of labor, orderly competition, and mutual integration with Sichuan, as the two cities jointly build a major national advanced manufacturing base. 

Ten leading companies including New Hope Group have settled in Chongqing with an investment of 24.7 billion yuan. During the year 2020, a total of 176 new agricultural projects were signed, with an agreed investment worth 51.2 billion yuan.

The embedment and clustered development of strategic main industries has been actively promoted, while the overall support rate of infrastructure in the automobile and electronic information industries in the economic circle has increased to more than 80%.

A national digital economy innovation and development pilot zone has been jointly established, while a total of more than 80,000 5G network coverage bases have been installed with a total investment of 66.5 billion yuan.

Focus on cutting-edge technologies and innovative products such as quantum information, third-generation semiconductors, and next-generation artificial intelligence have been connected with leading companies such as Alibaba Group and BOE, who will jointly plan and realize a number of future industries and industrial landmarks.

Sichuan and Chongqing co-hosted the online Sichuan-Chongqing agricultural fair, which attracted 113,000 consumers and produced deals worth nearly 200 million yuan. More than 70 cross-provincial and regional tourist routes between Sichuan and Chongqing have been developed, while network service platforms have been set up as part of the Bashu Open Travel Cultural Tourism Corridor activity.

Chongqing locals savor lychees following an invite from the Hejiang Lychee Festival in Sichuan Province. (iChongqing file photo)

Collaborative innovation steadily improves

At a meeting for the construction of the Western (Chongqing) Science City, altogether 79 projects with a total investment of 130 billion yuan have been initiated, while 43 new research and development institutions including the China Electronics Technology United Microelectronics Center were newly introduced.

Chongqing has joined hands with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, and the Chongqing University to built 6 university innovation ecosystems and 24 municipal technological innovation strategic alliances, and has established the first achievement equity investment fund worth 2 billion yuan in Southwest China.

The Chongqing Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone has introduced a total of 30 high-end innovation institutions to strengthen the industry, talent, life, and ecological coordination. In addition, a new municipal high-tech zone in Qijiang was added, while three national characteristic industrial bases have been approved.

Yubei Nonggao District has continued to advance core technology research and has successfully developed the smallest pitch display screen worldwide. High-speed silicon-based optoelectronic chips and modules produced in the district have filled the domestic gap, and the first domestic 5G autonomous driving service platform has been completed and put into use.

Accelerating the establishment of a comprehensive science center in Chongqing with Sichuan, researching and planning 200 major supporting projects and 15 major scientific and technological infrastructure projects. Jointly promote the exchange and sharing of the first batch of more than 8,000 experts in the scientific and technological expert database.

Solid progress in ecological protection

Insistence on environmental protection and the turn away from large-scale construction has promoted green development, strengthened joint prevention and control, and an important ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

The districts of Qianjiang and Wulong have been approved for demonstration zones for national ecological civilization, while the Guangyang Isle has been approved as a national innovation base under the motto that green mountains and rivers are a source of wealth.

Sichuan-Chongqing has launched the ‘White List’ enforcement system for the transfer of hazardous waste across provincial borders and has processed 94 applications involving 480,000 tons.

Ecological protection has been jointly coordinated through the restoration of forests, grasslands, and wetlands in the trunk and tributaries of the Yangtze River, while ecological corridors have been constructed along the Yangtze, Jialing, and Wujiang rivers.

Drives such as protecting Yangtze River sources and the Chengdu-Chongqing three-river sources environmental program have been launched through collaboration.

Five rounds of joint air quality inspections were carried out in adjacent areas of Sichuan and Chongqing, involving 242 enterprises that produced a trial for 159 reported issues. At the same time, a 10-year fishing ban in the Yangtze River has been fully implemented.

Common progress through reform and opening-up

An open and unified institutional system to gradually promote the formation of a free-flowing market has been studied. Operational standards for the China Railway Express to Europe have been unified, as the total number of services operated in collaboration has exceeded 14,000.

Coordination to promote appropriate reform in the separation of economic zones and administrative regions has been explored, while 11 major reforms such as demonstration projects for urban-rural integration and development have been promoted. In addition, the first batch of 30 reform lists for joint construction and sharing of public services has been launched.

A total of 50 key issues for the construction of a demonstration zone in the joint Sichuan-Chongqing pilot free trade zone have been proposed following study and research.

Business licenses issued outside of the native province or municipality in Sichuan and Chongqing have received mutual recognition through red and black lists, so that vitality can be released to retain momentum gained in regional development.

Nine districts have launched a one-stop pilot initiative for the registration of cross-provincial and municipal household migration.

Joint construction of public services

A focus has been placed on the integration of public services through expanded coverage and improved quality to enhance the people’s sense of happiness and security.

A national regional medical center and Chinese medicine comprehensive reform demonstration zone is to be jointly built in the Sichuan-Chongqing region.

The expansion of remote networked medical institutions is to be promoted, as the number of cross-provincial hospitals and outpatient clinics designated for direct settlements has reached 5122 and 8982 respectively.

An obstacle-free transfer system for pension insurance between Sichuan and Chongqing is to be continued, and it has attained a level of convenience where this can be processed through a swift one-time procedure either online or nearby.

A real estate platform based in Sichuan and Chongqing with 349 displayed projects has been established. One-stop household registration migration services have received a total of 11,000 applications for processing, while both locations now mutually recognize 8 public services including the Tianfu Elite Card and Chongqing Elite Service Card.

Chongqing Municipality has added 1090 new medical institutions offering direct settlements for patients from Sichuan, bringing the total number to 1835.

Educational cooperation alliances numbering 26 have been established.

At the same time, 133 mutual visits have been carried out by personnel in the fields of science and education, as well as exchange between over 1000 talented individuals.

Public transportation in the urban areas of Chongqing and Chengdu has realized a joint one card one code system with mutual recognition, while 8 inter-provincial bus lines have been newly opened.

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