The headquarters of a range of State-owned businesses, research centers and financial institutions will soon move into Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province, the province's Party chief, Wang Dongfeng, said on Wednesday.
A number of Beijing-based hospitals and colleges are also planning to move to the sprawling development zone that was created 100 kilometers south of Beijing four years ago, along with some government-affiliated institutions, Wang told a news conference in Beijing.
China Satellite Network Group and Sinochem Holdings－two giant State-owned enterprises－recently registered in Xiong'an, Wang said, adding his administration will do its utmost to facilitate such endeavors. China Satellite Network runs the nation's satellite broadband network and Sinochem owns a major rubber and tire manufacturer.
About 3,800 enterprises from Beijing have moved into the zone as part of a push to introduce high-end industries to the new area, he said.
The mass relocation was designed to help free Beijing of noncapital functions that have contributed to traffic jams and pressure from a growing population.
The new area is also a central part of the drive to integrate Hebei's development with its two wealthier neighbors, Beijing and Tianjin.
The coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster began seven years ago. In terms of significance, it has been ranked alongside two other nationally important projects－the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
As part of the integration effort, large numbers of businesses and other entities that used to be headquartered in the neighboring municipalities need to move to Hebei to reduce the province's heavy reliance on steelmaking and other polluting industries.
Wang said the province has absorbed about 26,000 enterprises from its two neighbors, and 1,248 projects each worth more than 50 million yuan ($7.8 million).
Beijing Hyundai Motor and two Beijing wholesale markets are among operations that have relocated to cities in Hebei.
"The coordinated development of the cluster has great potential," he said.
The news conference was part of series being held in the run-up to the centenary of the Communist Party of China on July 1. Hebei was a springboard for communist revolutionaries in the late 1940s as they moved out of Yan'an in the north of Shaanxi province and blazed a trail to Beijing to found the People's Republic of China.
For years, it has served as a source of cheap labor and farm produce for its two neighbors, and a national stronghold for steel production.
Eying greener and more balanced growth, the province has integrated its development path with the nation's overall strategy.
Home to some of China's most entrenched poverty only a few years ago, the province has been catching up to wealthier regions in recent years thanks to the integration efforts and the successfully concluded national anti-poverty drive.
Zhangjiakou, a city in the northwest of the province, will co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics with Beijing, giving Hebei another shot in the arm.
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