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Impressive achievements in Xiamen thanks to opening-up

Updated: Jan 5, 2022 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Coastal city in Fujian province transformed into wealthy metropolis over past 40 years

After more than 40 years' reform and opening-up, Xiamen has transformed into an international modern metropolis with a robust economy and balanced urban development, vitality and openness, said local officials.

In the past 40 years, the key coastal city and special economic zone in East China's Fujian province has seen its economic aggregate leap from 100 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) in 2006 to 638.40 billion yuan in 2020.

The economic structure has the "tertiary industry as the leading and the secondary industry as the support", with thriving growth in such areas as advanced manufacturing, modern services and agriculture.

The total output value of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries increased from 205 million yuan in 1980 to 2.89 billion yuan in 2020. The planned total industrial output value increased from 7.66 billion yuan in 1990 to 686.12 billion yuan in 2020.

At the end of 2020, there were 206,300 legal entities and 9,637 enterprises in the city.

They include 2,282 high-tech enterprises, 58 listed companies, three Fortune Global 500 companies, and five Fortune 500 companies in China.

Urban development

Over the past 40 years, Xiamen's urban development plan has undergone major changes.

The scope of the city has been expanded to 1,700.61 square kilometers, forming a spatial pattern of "one island, one belt and multiple centers".

In 2020, the population of Xiamen reached 5.18 million, with an average age of 36.8 years old, which is the youngest in the province.

The urbanization rate of its permanent residents has reached 89.4 percent.

Xiamen accounts for 1.4 percent of the province's land area; and creates 14.5 percent of the province's GDP, 26.2 percent of fiscal revenue, and nearly 50 percent of foreign trade imports and exports, which demonstrates the "Xiamen speed "of the development of the special economic zone.

Reform and innovation

Xiamen has made major breakthroughs and reforms in a free trade zone and enterprises.

It took the lead in exploring the reform of State-owned enterprises by establishing a modern system, innovating financial systems and making incentive policies such as "one license, one code", "delegation of regulation and service", "single window" and "multiple regulations in one" in international trade.

The city is also making every effort to advance the pilot free trade zone and implement an innovation-driven development strategy.

Since its establishment, the free trade zone has launched a total of 448 innovative measures, of which 100 were nationally initiated, 30 were promoted nationwide, and five were selected as best cases.

Opening-up highlighted

Xiamen has achieved comprehensive expansion in terms of exports and port economy.

The total foreign trade increased from $141 million in 1980 to $691.58 billion in 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 18 percent, accounting for 49.3 percent of the province's proportion. Made-in-Xiamen products have been sold to more than 220 countries and regions, and its comprehensive foreign trade competitiveness ranks sixth among the top 100 cities in China.

It is also accelerating the construction of an international port city. The number of productive berths in Xiamen Port increased from 22 in 1980 to 176, including Zhangzhou, in 2020. The port's container throughput reached 11.4 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, ranking seventh in the country and 14th in the world.

Xiamen Airport currently operates 175 city routes, including 36 international and regional routes, and is open to 17 international and overseas cities. Meanwhile, cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation has been comprehensively deepened. In 2020, the total value of import and export trade with Taiwan reached 40.23 billion yuan.

It will continue to consolidate its position in land-sea transport under the Belt and Road Initiative. The China-Europe Express (Xiamen) has shipped goods on a total of 910 trains with a cumulative value of 19.17 billion yuan.

Ecological civilization

Over the past 40 years, Xiamen has made fundamental progress in green and low-carbon efforts, ecological construction and spiritual civilization.

The city's energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP has dropped from 0.64 metric tons of standard coal in 2005 to 0.24 tons in 2020. Electricity and water consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP has also fallen sharply and the utilization rate of energy resources is among the highest in the country.

By the end of 2020, there were 150 parks open in the city. The per capita park area is 14.60 square meters, and the green coverage rate is 45.5 percent.

Ecological construction has achieved remarkable results. The rate of good air quality is 99.7 percent, which ranks fourth in the country.

The water quality of major river basins, such as national and provincial control sections and drinking water sources, has achieved "six 100 percent" standards, and the harmless treatment rate of domestic garbage is 100 percent.

The environmental quality satisfaction rate is the first in Fujian, and the ecological civilization index ranks it first among national prefecture-level and above cities.

Activities such as waste sorting, home cleaning, voluntary services, zebra crossings and blood donation are carried out to create a better living environment.

Meanwhile, Xiamen's characteristic hierarchical diagnosis and treatment and family doctor contract service models have been promoted nationwide.

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