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$15.5 billion to boost Zhanjiang's hub role

By Chai Hua (China Daily) Updated: 2017-07-19

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Jiang Jianjun (second from right first row), mayor of Zhanjian, introduces the city's public-private-partnership projects to investors. Lang Shuchen / For China Daily

Zhanjiang, a port city in southwestern Guangdong province, has entered a new stage of development as it signed strategic cooperation agreements with 14 large enterprises on Monday.

The agreements, with investment totaling 105 billion yuan ($15.5 billion), cover such areas as transportation, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, industrial parks and urban construction.

To provide strong financial support for these projects, China Development Bank and Agricultural Development Bank of China signed a loan agreement with the city government to provide Zhanjiang a line of credit of 130 billion yuan.

China Merchants Group signed a cooperative agreement with the Zhanjiang city government to set up a 10 billion yuan fund for the integrated development of the city's port, industrial park and urban construction projects.

As an important shareholder of Zhanjiang Port Group, CMG aims to establish a more modern port with net assets of over 10 billion yuan.

CMG said it will adopt the model of "port at the front, industrial zone in the middle and city at the back" - the approach it took in nurturing Shekou Port in Shenzhen - to encourage the overall development of Zhanjiang.

Since 2007, when Zhanjiang Port and CMG began to cooperate, the city's port economy has been booming. Its ranking in terms of cargo throughput among all of the main port cities in China increased to No 11 last year from No 18 in 2007, according to the local government.

The Guangdong Airport Authority has agreed with the Zhanjiang city government to build a new airport industrial zone of about 3.87 square kilometers, including a new airport, an aviation industrial park and a bonded zone. The authorities expect the project to stimulate rapid growth in aviation-related industries. The investment earmarked for the project totals 4.4 billion yuan.

In the manufacturing sector, China's Gree Electric Appliances plans to invest 2.2 billion yuan in its projects in Zhanjiang.

China Resources Holdings has agreed to invest in Zhanjiang-based projects in such areas as electricity, cement, gas, supermarkets and several other industries, with a total investment of 30.8 billion yuan.

The city government signed an agreement with China National Ofshore Oil for projects related to gas pipelines and oilfield construction.

Zhanjiang Party chief Zheng Renhao said: "The signing of these projects will greatly help our goal to become a hub city on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and in the Beibu Gulf region.

"To accomplish the goal, we have outlined plans for a number of key projects," he continued.

"In the future, the Zhanjiang government will provide good services for investors so that we can all share the fruit of the city's progress," he said.

The city also released 69 public-private-partnership projects with total investment of nearly 100 billion yuan. The city government held a meeting to present these projects on Monday morning, with about 600 executives from 124 companies participating.

Jiang Jianjun, mayor of Zhanjiang, said at the meeting that the city is in a vital stage of its development and the PPP projects will play an important role.

He explained the city is striving to advance its infrastructure construction, providing huge cooperation opportunities for the government and social institutions. The city also has long-term relations with 44 financial institutions, which can provide stable funding support, he added.

Jiang said the government has established a PPP database, which includes 25 projects with total investment of 20 billion yuan so far.