China publishes guideline to help central regions set up industrial cluster bases

China published a guideline on Thursday night that directs central regions to develop regional industrial cluster bases, with a special focus on high technologies such as new materials, new-energy vehicles and electronics information.

This will be another major Chinese blueprint to push regional high-quality development after the rollout of regional strategies like western development, the Greater Bay Area as well as the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

The guideline drew up a development timeline for Central China regions, saying that by the end of 2035, Central China should basically build a modernized economic system. The region’s industries should march toward medium or high levels in general, while having an improved open economic mechanism by that time.

In particular, the government is directing Central China regions to set up industrial cluster bases, with different underlying industrial focuses for different areas. For example, Central China’s Hubei will be guided to strengthen its optronics industry, and the government will create an “optics valley” in the city of Wuhan.

In Henan, China will establish an electronics information industrial cluster in Zhengzhou, while an equipment manufacturing industrial cluster will be set up in Luoyang.

The government will also speed up establishing national logistics hubs in cities like Zhengzhou and Hunan Province’s Changsha, while the number of commodities traded on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange will increase.

According to the guideline, a special focus will be put on how to upgrade the existing manufacturing industries in Central China. Traditional industries like Henan’s light fabrics, Hunan’s mining and Hubei’s construction materials will all be directed to become more intelligent and environmentally friendly.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute of Wuhan University, said that a major problem that hinders Central China’s development is that it has been too independent and protectionist. For example, in past years, some cities in Central China saw each other as competitors and sought to develop the same industries, a mindset that obstructed cities’ development as a whole.

“The guideline provides a very important direction that Central China cities should discuss with each other how to integrate their advantages and avoid homogenization, so as to establish industry chains not in spots, but across the whole region,” Dong told the Global Times.

He also noted that Central China should communicate more with neighboring areas like the Greater Bay Area to learn from their experiences and integrate into their development strategies.


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