Bold move as district outgrows its territory
Since its establishment 27 years ago, the Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone has experienced rapid growth to become the most powerful high-tech driver of Xi'an and Shaanxi province as a whole.
However, its pace of development has slowed down in recent years due to its limited space and worsening environment, according to recent reports by People's Daily.
Construction on 134 industrial projects has been suspended because of lack of land, said the newspaper, which estimated the shortage of land supply for those projects amounted to 2,400 hectares.
The living environment is another disadvantage of the zone. People work in the high-tech zone to earn higher salaries but prefer to live in the neighboring Qujiang New Area, where facilities for living, shopping and relaxation are better, People's Daily quoted local officials.
A typical example is the hightech zone's software park, which is home to a great number of IT and high-tech companies including Huawei.
Huawei's Xi'an company has more than 13,000 employees. Like many working at Huawei, hundreds of thousands of people come to work in the morning and leave in the evening, causing traffic jams during the peak hours.
Facing these problems, the new leadership of the Xi'an high-tech zone has recently planned for change.
Zhong Hongjiang, Party chief of the zone, said the local authorities will focus on creating a better living and working environment for employees and residents.
"A good living and working environment can make people and businesses stay," Zhong said.
He explained that the zone's new development plan will highlight "an ideal environment" for innovation and entrepreneurship, high-quality growth, living and a sustained ecology.
The administrative commission of the zone announced an expansion plan last month, to include the three districts of Chang'an, Huyi and Yanta into the high-tech zone.
The latest move followed a plan announced in June, which put 10 townships under the administration of the Xi'an high-tech zone.
The moves will add another 679 square kilometers of land to the zone.
Local residents and businesses have pinned high hopes on the expansion plan.
Zhao Changli, a local resident with a family of five in Xinglong community, which is included in the Xi'an high-tech zone's expansion plan, said he has been expecting his hometown to become a Lujiazui-like area in Xi'an. Lujiazui is the financial hub of Shanghai.
According to the policy for compensating families giving up their homes and land for the expansion, Zhao's family can get 350 square meters of residential space and 50 sq m of commercial property for free, which he thinks "is a very fair compensation".
Like Zhao, many of his neighbors live in shabby, one-story houses. They think their lives will change for the better after they move.
According to plans, Xinglong will be home to the 666-m Xi'an Silk Road Financial Center and the area will be part of Xi'an's central financial district.
Xi'an Giant Biogene Technology is a rising star in the local biomedicine industry.
Its revenue was 300 million yuan ($43.56 million) in 2016. Last year, the value increased to 1.5 billion yuan and the figure is expected to reach 2 billion yuan this year.
However, its factory area of less than 1 hectare cannot meet the demands of its growing production.
The problem will be soon solved as the high-tech zone expands. The company is expected to obtain land of four hectares for its second-phase and about seven hectares for its third-phase expansion, according to Yan Jianya, chairman of the company.
According to Party chief Zhong, infrastructural construction in the zone has accelerated since the beginning of the year.
Fixed-asset investment in the Xi'an high-tech zone amounted to 63.7 billion yuan in the first three quarters, growing 17 percent from the same period last year.
Source：China Daily Editor：Lucky
(Source_title：Bold move as district outgrows its territory)