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Yantai's innovative environment gives businesses tools to prosper

Updated: May 30, 2023 By YUAN SHENGGAO China Daily Print
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The city of Yantai in East China's Shandong province has pledged to improve its business environment by providing enterprises with preferential policies and innovative services.

In recent years, Yantai has focused on fundamental improvement of its business environment, making dedicated efforts to increase the benefits and satisfaction of enterprises through reforms to streamline administrative procedures, delegate power and improve government services, local officials said.

For consecutive years, Yantai has ranked top among its peers in Shandong in the business environment evaluation, winning honors such as a gold destination for investment and being recognized as an innovative city for business environment.

"At present, Yantai has entered a new 'golden period' and is accelerating its development pace," Mayor Zheng Deyan said at a Yantai-Hong Kong dialogue event focused on the green and low-carbon development for a better future on Monday.

This year, Yantai plans to introduce a total of 537 key municipal-level projects with a total investment of 2.1 trillion yuan ($296.69 billion). These projects cover various fields such as manufacturing, green and low-carbon industries, and infrastructure, according to Zheng.

As one of the province's major industrial bases, Yantai boasts impressive resources in multiple sectors, including high-end equipment, electronic information, automobiles and advanced food processing, each with an output value surpassing 100 billion yuan. There are also industrial clusters dedicated to biomedicine, aerospace and clean energy, each with an output value of 10 billion yuan.

Yantai has continuously optimized the business environment by streamlining administrative services, according to Fan Zhongli, deputy secretary-general of the Yantai city government.

Its initiatives include bringing multiple evaluation procedures into one process and enabling the handling of administrative affairs by facial recognition, which has helped reduce the time businesses spend in completing such affairs by 80 percent, Fan said.

On top of this, the city's credit supervision model has received incentives from the State Council, according to Fan.

In 2022, Yantai's GDP reached 951.6 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth rate of 5.1 percent, with both the increment and growth rate ranking first in Shandong.

As Shandong is promoting the construction of pioneering zones for green, low-carbon and high-quality development, Yantai is harnessing its advantages in piloting the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones, and is striving to become a national pilot city for an innovative business environment.

The Huang-Bohai New Area, one of the city's economic pillars, has innovated services such as establishing platforms for businesses.

In recent years, the new area has capitalized on its strong industrial resources to roll out a series of policies to support the digital development of businesses. In 2019, Yantai and Huawei jointly launched the Huawei (Yantai) Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center in the new area, which is the first of its kind in Shandong. The center has empowered industries with AI technology — serving more than 90 percent of industry-leading businesses in the new area — and has helped bring 11 businesses into the Huawei ecosystem, generating more than 30 million orders.

One of the beneficiaries is Posco (Yantai) Automotive Pressing Center, a traditional manufacturer specializing in automotive steel plate production, processing and distribution, which has transformed its business mode through digitization.

"Through cooperation with the innovation center of Huawei, the company's intelligent visual inspection of the steel plate production line has been achieved by perfectly combining AI and computer vision, resulting in a significant improvement in product delivery quality," said Jing Zaishan, the company's general manager.

The establishment of Yantai's first green manufacturing association heralded the issuance of plans to support green investment, which according to an official, has so far transformed more than 50 projects with green technology. The official added that the new area is expected to develop more than 30 municipal-level green factories, supply chain businesses and products.

Meanwhile, businesses in the Penglai district are benefiting from a streamlined administrative process and better service in pursuing their projects. For example, Mitsubishi Electric took just 20 days to establish its elevator production base in Yantai, from project signing to implementation.

District officials said when they learned about Mitsubishi's plan to build a production plant in Yantai, they quickly engaged in communication with the company. After conducting a mutual inspection tour, the parties worked out an agreement that resulted in Mitsubishi successfully investing in the 500-million yuan project. The production base is expected to generate an annual output value of 700 million yuan while creating upward of 700 jobs.

To better serve its business needs, Shandong's Longkou city is promoting administrative services to industrial parks, including setting up an "e-station" at the Huawei big data industry park. According to local officials, the station is focused on providing businesses with services that deal with loans, recruitment, approval, tax reduction and exemptions, entrepreneurial subsidies and legal protection. It also introduces companies to relevant preferential policies.

Yan Jiye, office director of the Longkou city government, said Huawei's big data facility, one of six major industrial parks in Longkou, has attracted more than 70 businesses, with the number estimated to eventually exceed 100. "The e-station was launched to promote one-stop administrative services for enterprises, effectively solving the difficulties and problems faced by businesses while addressing the last-mile service challenges," Yan added.

Another fertile ground for business development, the Yantai High-Tech Zone, has likewise highlighted green and digital initiatives in improving its business environment.

The high-tech zone, which completed 48.48 percent of its 5G base station construction in 2022, attaches great importance to the development of environmentally friendly industries by reducing energy and resource consumption, protecting and restoring the ecological environment, and promoting the development of a circular economy and low-carbon technologies.


Clockwise from top: A panoramic view of Yantai, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province. A 220-kilovolt research station for the integrated development of wind power and marine ranching in Laizhou of Yantai. Robots weld cars on the production line of SGM-Dongyue in Yantai. CHINA DAILY

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