Smaller locales integrating into Yangtze River Delta region

Wang Yanlin
The integration of the Yangtze River Delta region has moved into deeper levels with smaller cities actively participating, contributing to the "dual-circulation" economy.
Wang Yanlin

The integration of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region has moved into deeper levels with smaller cities and counties actively participating, creating dynamics that are an important part of the “dual-circulation” economy.

“The YRD integration plan has been transformed into actions with strong dynamics,” said Rui Mingjie, a professor of industrial economics at Fudan University. “You can see people are realizing there are new opportunities and trying hard to grab them.”

Active participants go beyond big cities like Nanjing, Suzhou and Huai’an in neighboring Jiangsu Province. Over the past two months, officials from smaller cities — including Zhangjiagang, Yixing and Taicang — have come to Shanghai to tout their strength in developing new businesses.

The most recent case was Jinhu, a county in Jiangsu that hosted a forum in Shanghai on Sunday to explain why investors should come there to grow.

“With the improvement of transportation and infrastructure, we are ready to welcome new investment and better integrate into the YDR region,” said Jinhu’s Party Secretary He Baoxiang.

Smaller locales integrating into Yangtze River Delta region

Jinhu is located a bit farther away from Shanghai than other cities that can be reached within an hour's time. It takes about four hours of driving now to reach the county, but in two years when it is connected to the city by high-speed rail, it will take only two hours.

Despite the distance, Jinhu successfully attracted investment of 23 billion yuan (US$3.56 billion) via three promotion events held this week, including 20 projects signed in Shanghai covering agriculture, health care, sports, consumer goods and furniture.

Rui thinks Jinhu is a good example of how the YRD plan has mobilized resources.

“People gearing up to be part of the plan, and every place has found its role to play,” Rui said.

Jinhu, dubbed the lotus flower capital that covers 1,393 square kilometers and is home to 370,000 people, is eager to connect with new businesses.

“In the past, a lot of people from Jinhu came to Shanghai for their careers," He said. "Now, with the integration of the region, it's easy to come home for renewed careers. Also, we welcome new friends from home and abroad to Jinhu, and they won't be disappointed.”

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