Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, colleagues from the mainstream media in the 10 ASEAN countries, together with China, Japan and South Korea, gathered once more in the Tianjin Binhai New Area, under the theme of “Beijing Olympic Games: Sharing the Success, Sharing the News” to expand cooperation and friendship. Now, I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone on behalf of the government of Tianjin and the Tianjin Binhai New Area Administrative Committee, and express heartfelt thanks for the long-term support for Tianjin and the Binhai New Area!
The year of 2008 is crucial for the development of Tianjin. As a co-host city of the Beijing Olympic Games, we are going all out to complete the preparation work. In September this year, the Tianjin Binhai New Area will hold the Summer Davos World Economic Forum. Tianjin and the Binhai New Area are gaining more attention from domestic and international media. It is of great significance that the 10+3 Media Cooperation Forum will discuss “going into the Binhai New Area and experiencing modern Tianjin”. Now, I will introduce to you the relevant information about the Tianjin Binhai New Area.
Tianjin is the economic center of the Bohai Rim region, and the biggest opening coastal city in northern China. In 2007, Tianjin's per capita GDP reached 6,050 US dollars. Tianjin will gradually transform into an international port city, economic center in the North of China and an ecocity that is prosperous, highly-civilized, well-developed in science and education, and with complete facilities and a beautiful environment. The Tianjin Binhai New Area, in the eastern coastal areas of Tianjin, has a planned area of 2,270 square kilometers, a 153-kilometer coastline and a population of 1.52 million. It is China's most dynamic and most attractive modernized economic area with the greatest potential for the following reasons.
The first reason is its obvious geographical advantages. The Binhai New Area has a comprehensive port with world's sixth throughput, landlocked by vast hinterland, covering 12 provinces and cities of northern China. It is the closest starting point of the Euro-Asia continental bridge in the east; and it is an important maritime departure point for neighboring landlocked countries such as Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Before the Beijing Olympic Games in August of this year, the second expressway between the two cities of Beijing and Tianjin will open. The Beijing-Tianjin inter-city high-speed railway, at a speed of 350 km/h, will also be completed and put into use. At that point, it will only take about 40 minutes to travel from Beijing to the Tianjin Binhai New Area.
The second reason is the area's solid industrial base. The Binhai New Area is home to seven leading industries: electronic information, automobile and component manufacturing, the oil and marine chemical industry, modern metallurgy, green food processing, bio-pharmaceuticals, and new energy and materials. New dominant industries such as aviation and space, finance and logistics, and outsourcing services are on the rise. In 2007, the area's total industrial output realized a value of 628.3 billion yuan; and the proportion of the value of high-tech industrial output occupies 47 percent of the total.
The third reason is the centralization of functions. The Binhai New Area has state-level development zones, bonded areas, high-tech development zones, export processing zones, a bonded port, comprehensive bonded zone, and bonded logistics park. The Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA) maintained the best investment environment for development for 10 consecutive years. The Dongjiang bonded port area is the special customs supervision region with the largest port area, the best policy and the most complete functions in China; and it will be built as a free trade port zone in line with common international practice.
The fourth reason is a high degree of opening up to the outside world. The Binhai New Area first implemented a one-stop service for initial consultation and the whole charge d'affaires, an investment environment in line with international practices has been established here, and a 24-hour service line—#96667 has been opened here. Now, there are more than 15,000 foreign-funded enterprises, including 89 of the World's Top 500 enterprises, such as Motorola, Otis Elevator, Toyota Motor, and Samsung Electronics. A total of $23.1 billion of foreign capital had been actually utilized by the end of 2007. It is the region with the best investment conditions, the lowest operating cost and the highest rate of return.
The fifth reason is the gathering of numerous science and technology resources. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where Binhai New Area is located has 27 percent of the nation's scientific and technological personnel. It has 31 state- and province-level engineering centers, 70 enterprise technology research and development centers, 41 foreign-invested research and development centers, and 52 post-doctoral workstations. As a national vocational education reform pilot area, Binhai New Area has trained a large number of high-quality technical workers in cooperation with Germany and Spain and formed a multi-level personnel support.
The sixth reason is its extensive prospect for development. The size of the Binhai New Area is four times that of the Pudong New Area, twice that of Hong Kong, and more than 300 square kilometers larger than Shenzhen. It has 1,214 square kilometers of saline or alkaline land for development and use, which is rare in large- and medium-sized cities in China and abroad. A total of more than 10 billion tons of oil resources and 193.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves have been found in the Bohai Sea. Every year, 20 million cubic meters of geothermal resources can be extracted, and the annual output of crude salt reaches up to over 2.4 million tons.
Ladies, gentlemen and friends. The development and opening-up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area has provided tremendous business opportunities for investors, including those from the ASEAN countries, Japan, and South Korea. We warmly welcome more Chinese and foreign enterprises and people of insight to seize the opportunity to actively participate in the construction and development of Tianjin Binhai New Area, and achieve mutual benefits. We hope that reporters from the mass media pay greater attention to Tianjin, get to know Tianjin, and actively help to promote the Binhai New Area, as well as put forward constructive suggestions.
Finally, I wish you pleasant work in the Tianjin Binhai New Area. Thanks!