As one of the first 14 national development zones, Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone (hereinafter referred to as “the Zone”) was founded in October, 1984 with the approval of the State Council. Its construction began in March, 1985. With 30-plus years of development and construction, the Zone has made it to the top five national development zones for 12 consecutive times in terms of comprehensive development evaluation, with GDP and industrial scale output accounting for one fifth of Qingdao City. The Zone is the one and only industrial area that has been included in the top 10 of 100 leading national industrial areas in China for five years running. It is among the top 10 development zones in China with the largest investment potential, a national knowledge industry pilot area, and a demonstration area of China’s ecological (cultural) livable planning and construction. It has been granted as one of the first demonstration pilot projects of national intelligent industrial demonstration parks, and the only one in eastern China.
After years of development, more than 30 thousand enterprises have registered in the Zone, foreign-funded enterprises from 59 countries and regions have invested in the Zone, and a total of 2,300-plus foreign-invested enterprises have been approved here. The Zone has utilized foreign investment more than $11.5 billion. 100-plus projects have been invested here by Fortune Global 500 enterprises. In 2017, the Zone utilized paid-in investment $1.141 billion, around one fifth of that of Qingdao. Its total volume of foreign trade was one fourth of that of the whole city.
Its production value in home appliances and electronic engineering, petrochemical, auto, shipping and maritime work accounts for half of that of Qingdao. Its home appliances and electronic engineering base is the first industry cluster district worth RMB 100 billion in Qingdao. In the Zone, Qingdao Port, Haier, Hisense, Sinopec Qingdao Petrochemical, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry, CNOOC and other enterprises have become pacesetters of relevant fields in China. The Zone has set new generation of information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, digital economy, maritime economy, and other strategic emerging industries as top priority. The production value of 20% of its industries has exceeded designated size. The Zone has been pushing for the deep integration of internet, big data, AI, and real economy. It has been a pioneer in adopting mixed-ownership in pilot demonstration works. The Zone has established Qingdao Intelligent Manufacturing Transformation and Upgrading Institute, the first Fund for Replacing Old Drivers with New Ones worth RMB 10 billion, Qianwan Port Automated Port Terminal, SGMW SUV, and other nine intelligent manufacturing demonstration projects.
Qingdao Port is the seventh largest port in the world and one of the five largest foreign trade ports in China. Its Qianwan Port and Dongjiakou Port are large deep-water ports connecting with international main channels, and have established trade ties with 700-plus ports of 180-odd countries and regions. Within Qingdao Port, there is national crude oil strategic reserve base. Qingdao Port is also an important transferring base for iron ore, crude oil, rubber, cotton, and other strategic materials in China. It is the largest receiving base for oil and liquefied natural gas in northern China, and holds important position in China’s reform and opening up and transportation security system of strategic materials. Within the Zone, Qianwan Port is home to 75 berths, which handled 510 million tons of cargo in 2017 and 18.3 million standard containers. Dongjiakou Port was designed with 112 berths, which handled 370 million tons of cargo each year, including 9.7 million standard containers.
Qingdao Liuting International Airport offers 111 domestic air routes and 17 international ones, five ones to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, reaching out to 61 home cities and 16 international (regional) ones. Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport, which is under construction, is of Grade 4F, with a designed annual traffic volume of 60-80 million passengers. The construction will finish in 2019 as scheduled. The longest north-south, west-east expressways in China (Shenyang-Haikou Expressway, Qingdao-Lanzhou Expressway) converge here. As Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge and its tunnel get into use, the Zone has entered a new age of integrated development together with Qingdao. It takes 30 minutes for people in the Zone to enter east bank downtown via the cross-sea bridge and 10 minutes via subsea tunnel. Qingdao-Jinan Railway and Qingdao-Lianyungang Railway, which is under planning and predicted to complete in 2018, will connect with national railway network and reach out to the whole mainland China.