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Nantong goal: Leverage ideal location

Updated: Mar 18, 2019 China Daily Print

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Nantong, located in East China's Jiangsu province, will strive to become a pivot city to push forward the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region. It will also spare no effort to be the northern gate of neighboring Shanghai. Photos provided to China Daily

In 2019, city near Shanghai plans to promote development, construction across Yangtze River Economic Belt

Nantong, situated in East China's Jiangsu province, will strive to become a pivot city to further push forward the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region and better support construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

The city, located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, will also spare no effort to build itself into the northern gate of neighboring Shanghai, a concept approved by the Jiangsu provincial government in 2017. As part of the plan, the city will promote the coordinated development and connectivity with Shanghai in fields such as traffic, industrial cooperation and innovation.

As one of the first 14 coastal cities to promote opening-up in China, Nantong has unlocked strong growth potential during the reform and opening-up over the past 40 years.

In 2018, its regional GDP was 842.7 billion yuan ($125.64 billion), ranked sixth among China's prefecture-level cities.

In 2018, Nantong recorded 100 projects each with more than 1 billion yuan investment.

Constructing a seaport

Foreign trade has long played a significant role in supporting Jiangsu's economic development. It has become an urgent task for Jiangsu province to build its own seaport because the ports in Shanghai, which handle about 80 percent of the foreign trade containers from Jiangsu province every year, are operating at nearly full capacity.

According to local authorities, Nantong's location, at the estuary of the Yangtze River, gives it an advantage because it has the potential to become both a deep-water seaport and deep-water river port, and it would potentially become the third Chinese port offering the combined model. Currently, Ningbo Zhoushan Port in Zhejiang province and Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai are the only two ports that allow ocean and river connected transportation in China.

Experts said that building a port at Nantong's Tongzhou Bay will speed up Jiangsu's efforts to develop an integrated transportation network of river and sea to better serve regional markets. It will also strengthen Jiangsu's capacity and capability to serve the nation's development.

In 2019, Nantong will focus on developing Tongzhou Bay area, the area along the Yangtze River and Qidong life and health technology city. It will enhance the city's capacity and performance in industrial development, urban construction and transportation.

Yin Jianyong, director of Nantong's development and reform commission, said it is important to leverage Tongzhou Bay's advantage as a linkage point between the Yangtze River and the sea. The development of the area will support further opening-up of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, quality regional economic development, coordinated regional development and ecological system construction.

This year, Nantong will be built into a city open to the markets bordering the Pacific Ocean, a hub for modern industries, a demonstration zone for integrated regional development and a demonstration area for ecological system construction, according to officials.

Jiangsu province released its 2019 Government Work Report on Jan 14. It was stated in the report that "Jiangsu province will support Nantong's Tongzhou Bay to become a strategic pivot area in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and push forward Nantong's new airport construction".

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