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Boost for the port

THE merging of Nanhui District with Pudong New Area will help accelerate Shanghai's development in shipping, business and manufacturing.

The merger should speed up development of Shanghai as a port and should benefit shipping companies with more favorable policies expected, industry insiders said.

The Yangshan Deep-water Port and the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone will both come under one government entity.

Logistics and shipping companies registered in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone are expected to have more access to land in Nanhui District.

Yang Zhouyi, Secretary-General of the Development and Reform Research Institute for Pudong, said the merger will give Pudong more land for industry to expand.

The continued development of Shanghai as an international financial center and shipping hub will be helped by shipping companies and financial institutions coming under the one jurisdiction.

The advanced manufacturing industry and the modern service sector will be able to set up in the new district, speeding up urbanization, Yang said.

Yang, a member of the Shanghai People's Political Consultative Conference, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that he and other industry experts proposed to the city government to build a metro line to connect Waigaoqiao and Lingang New City yesterday.

"This will make easier for city residents to go to work in the New City and an increasing number of companies will be willing to set up offices in the district," Yang said. "We will be able to lure more higher-end service providers and big shipping groups to be located in Lingang New City and this will do more benefit than raising the throughput of containers at the ports of Shanghai."

The free trade zone in Waigaoqiao is almost filled so the city government needs to speed up the development of Lingang New City. "That is how we think the merging of Nanhui and Pudong New Area came into being and efforts from the government of the Pudong district alone is not enough," Yang said.

The transport of cargo through inland waterways instead of highways will also be facilitated now that the two districts are merged.

Carbon dioxide emissions from waterway transport are five times less than those associated with highway transport, said Yu Hongsheng, the deputy director of the Urbanization Research Center of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Lingang New City has special function zones including a logistics park and heavy machinery park. Combined with the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone and the Lujiazui financial hub, the area may become the major driver of Shanghai's development in the next 10 years to 20 years.

The merger of the two districts will also help the country develop its home-made passenger jet and compete globally.

The Aviation Industry Corp of China, China's largest aerospace company, has chosen Lingang New City as the base for designing and making engine parts for China's first 150-seat passenger plane. The research and development center for the project will be located at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Pudong New Area.

"The merger of the two districts is expected to simplify the procedures for the company to settle its assembly center," said an industry source.

Yangshan Deep-water Port

Construction started on the port in 2002 and the major section was completed at the end of last year. The 16 berths have a handling capacity of 9.3 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). When completed, the 30 berths should be able to handle 15 million TEUs by 2020.

Lingang New City

Established in 2003, the complex industrial zone of Lingang incorporates manufacturing, logistics, export processing, research and development and residential areas. By the end of last year 119 projects were based here and 52 foreign enterprises invested in the area.

Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone

Established in 1990, it was the first free trade zone in China and is still the largest in terms of output. Trade, logistics and machinery are the three main businesses. By the end of 2006, 9,550 projects had been approved, accounting for US$13.05 billion in investment. With 104 of the world's top 500 companies having set up offices here, the area employs 170,000, including 8,600 foreigners. The zone added 66.6 billion yuan to the economy in 2006, accounting for 47.7 percent of the nation's free trade zones.


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