Yangtze River Delta Plan Gains Approval
  • Source: China Daily


    Authorities from Shanghai and its three neighboring provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui agreed on Friday on a three-year action plan for the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and nearly a dozen collaborative projects to increase the region"s competitiveness on a global scale.


    The agreements, signed at the 14th symposium of the main leadership of the Yangtze River Delta, indicated that by 2020, the region aims to become a national demonstration zone for new development concepts, a world-class urban center and an Asia-Pacific gateway for global resource allocation.


    To achieve that, the three-year strategic plan (2018-20) for the region"s development has been formulated to clarify the tasks, timetable and road map for the coming years, Li Qiang, Party Secretary of Shanghai, told the media on Friday evening.


    With a GDP of 19.5 trillion yuan ($3.08 trillion) last year, the Yangtze River Delta-which is at the convergence of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Zone-accounted for roughly 25 percent of the nation"s GDP, official statistics show.


    In a previous interview in January, Li said "we have reached a point when the regional cooperation of the Yangtze River Delta region must be deepened comprehensively" as "regional collaboration represents a general trend in the development of the world economy".


    However, differences in detailed planning for Shanghai and Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces in aspects such as industrial development and policies on residents" livelihoods, have hindered some collaborative projects, Li said at a panel discussion during this year"s National People"s Congress in March.


    Dozens of dead-end roads between the provinces and the municipality because of existing residential communities or rivers are one example.


    The formulation of the three-year plan signified that the integrated development of the region has made substantial progress, and Shanghai will play a strategic role as a world-class core city, Li said.


    Based on the plan, 11 cooperation projects were also signed on Friday to facilitate coordination and links in areas such as planning, reform, innovation, urban facilities, transportation networks and public services.


    For example, authorities from the region agreed to establish the Yangtze River Delta Integrated Development Investment Fund to facilitate cooperation with related financial organizations to support major trans-regional infrastructure construction, ecological environment management and other related fields.


    "The three-year plan has indicated a new consensus and clarified new tasks on the integrated development of the region, based on which we are committed to the completion of one project after another to make the vision we"ve jointly painted a reality," Li said.

    Cash-strapped Chery to sell controlling stake


    Analysts say that Chery"s plan to introduce investors is in line with the National Development and Reform Commission"s announcement in late May that it supports State-owned and private carmakers to attract investors and partners to become competitive.


    They say that it is a good thing if Chery can obtain the much-needed capital but that will not ensure its revival, which depends on a number of factors ranging from the shuffle of the management team to, more importantly, its product plans.


    Several companies have shown interest in the floundering carmaker including property and insurance conglomerate Baoneng Group, investment firm Fosun International Ltd and Sichuan province-based liquor maker Wuliangye.


    Baoneng, who now holds a 51 percent stake in Chery"s joint venture Qoros, has been investing big in the automotive industry, with a special focus on the booming electric vehicle sector, setting up facilities to build cars and components in the country.


    Earlier this year, Baoneng Chairman Yao Zhenhua vowed to invest 10 billion yuan a year in research and development for at least the next five years, a figure that is similar to the level invested annually by China"s largest car group SAIC Motor.


    But chances have become slim for Baoneng, despite an offer of over 25 billion yuan, because the Anhui government would prefer a "simpler" investor, Caixin quoted sources as saying.


    The Anhui government believes bringing in Baoneng could complicate Chery"s management structure, making the automaker "hard to control" in the future, sources told Caixin.


    Earlier this year, Wuliangye and a government-owned automotive investment company acquired the controlling stake for Chery"s low-end brand Cowin for 2.49 billion yuan.


    An analyst who would like to remain anonymous said the liquor maker is unlikely to become the investor as well, as local authorities will be prudent in approving of a deal worth up to 25 billion yuan with a company that does not show signs of good return.


    Besides Qoros and Cowin, Chery produces and sells cars under Chery and Jetour brands. It also has a joint venture in China with British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover.