Forging Ahead in 2021｜ SCODA: Pioneer in International Cooperation
With 2020 behind us, the new year has arrived. In this usual year, under the test of the global pandemic and the complex international situation, how did SCODA perform as a new "Belt and Road" international cooperation platform amidst opportunities and challenges? How about the progress of the "five centers" and what are the goals for the new year? SCODA has shouldered its due responsibility to actively integrate into the new development paradigm of dual circulations. Its performance in 2020 is impressive with big projects established and excellent innovation achievement.
28 big projects signed and established
Robust two-way investment
On January 5, good news came from Shanghai. SCODA and Aden Group signed strategic cooperation agreement. By establishing presence in SCODA, Aden has become the first "international partner" of SCODA this year.
With three months of close and frequent coordination and discussions, SCODA and Aden have gained deeper understanding of each other. Based on that, the cooperation has been expanded from the originally planned three projects to the current five, including China-France Cooperation Hub, smart industrial park and smart medical care cooperation, etc. Aden will integrate its upstream and downstream resources on the industrial chain such as TOTAL and Saint-Gobain, and introduce industrial Internet innovation resources and projects of France and other European countries to the industrial innovation center of China-France Cooperation Hub. Relevant industrial products will be displayed together. A "park+corporation" operation model will be applied to help SCODA build the new "Belt and Road" international cooperation platform.
The partnership with Aden is an epitome of SCODA's international cooperation. 2020 has witnessed a large number of big projects entering SCODA. Among them are Geely satellite-based Internet project with total investment of 4.12 billion yuan, SCO-Fusun Shiguangli with total investment of 6 billion yuan, and Nissan Motors project with total investment of 200 million US dollars. The 28 demonstrative, piloting and game-changing projects, with total investment of 128.8 billion yuan, have been signed with SCODA, which has sent a strong signal of confidence from SCODA to the world.
The projects have been established thanks to the comprehensive advantages of SCODA as a platform to bring all resources together. The forward-looking planning of SCODA spells great development potential and space in the future.
In 2020, SCODA has completed the urban and underground spatial planning of the 10-km2 core area of SCODA. The total floor area of the building in the core area in 17.5 million m2, of which underground space is 5.5 million m2. There are seven clusters including the SCO international industrial cooperation cluster and the consulates cluster. The multi-dimensional planning ensures efficient use of the space and more room for development.
The signing is just the beginning.The construction will be accelerated at full speed. A special taskforce has been set up since the negotiation began, adopting a top-down coordination and facilitation approach to ensure progress is on schedule. On November 20, 2020, the 20 projects with total investment of 56.7 billion yuan broke ground at the same time. 73 other projects with total investment of 192.2 billion yuan were well underway. "The construction of the main engine assembly workshop, office building, R&D building of Phase 1 project and the five workshops along with supporting facilities with total floor area of 110,000 m2 are in full swing. " introduces Zhu dongshan from Shanghai Electric Wind Power Industrial Park. The park is estimated to produce annual output over 10 billion yuan and will provide advanced wind power equipment for SCO and "Belt and Road" countries. On the synergistic development with SCODA, Zhu smiles and says, "If the project meets a problem, no matter how small, SCODA Administrative Committee always takes it very seriously. That is why the project can progress so fast in groundbreaking, construction and operation."
2021 is the year of project implementation in Qingdao. SCODA, with all its advantages and strengths, will go all out. "This year, our goal is to attract iconic projects with special focus on SCO countries. We have done full preparations and made targeted analysis. We are confident to reach the goal." says Meng Qingsheng, Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee of SCODA.
Demonstration means innovation
"Five centers" in full swing
As the only demonstration area in China with a special focus on sub-national economic and trade cooperation with SCO and "Belt and Road" countries, SCODA has no ready model or experiences to copy. Innovation is the bedrock here.
SCODA, with a clear focus on local economic and trade cooperation, is seeking breakthroughs in sci-tech, culture, training, tourism cooperation, as it forges ahead along a new path of "Belt and Road" international cooperation. That is how SCODA blazes new trails.
SCODA seeks advice from top experts in order to work out solutions to the difficulties it has met in policy innovation. It has invited experts including Lu Yongtu and Hu Zheng and asked institutions such as Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, CIECC under NDRC, research center of the General Administration of Customs to carry out study and analysis on country-specific economic and trade cooperation, industrial planning, trade facilities and other areas, and the proposals of 30 policies and 10 item lists have been formed and will be submitted for approval.
SCODA is enlarging its "international circle of friends" via multiple channels. The leaders of the Administrative Committee has led delegations to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Jinan to visit over 90 ambassadors and diplomatic representatives as well as 100-plus companies including Huawei Group, and use the Import Expo and China Overseas Investment Fair to promote SCODA, so as to expand the international reach of SCODA for win-win cooperation.
Demonstration means innovation In 2020, SCODA has been approved as a national logistics hub for business and commerce services, making Qingdao a city with overlapping hubs for production services, ports and trade services. Shandong Gangxin Futures has been established as the first futures company approved by China in over 20 years. Efforts have also been made to secure the approval and support of Ministry of Commerce for the opening-up and development of the oil and gas industrial chain of SCODA. Impressive progress has been made in the construction of the "five centers" for international logistics, modern trade, two-way investment, business travel and culture, and marine cooperation. Last year, SCO Multimodal Transportation Center has handled 765,000 TEUs of containers, up 11% year on year. The number of China Railway Express freight trains reached 401, up 15.9%. Projects such as Russia Center, Pakistan Center, and China-Ukraine cherries cooperation have been established in SCODA. 15 chambers of commerce and associations of SCO countries have entered Qingdao Cooperation Hub for SCO Countries with 200 domestic and foreign staff.
In pursuing innovation-driven development, SCODA is carrying out institutional and mechanism reform across the board to effect innovation and improve efficiency. SCODA has launched a nationwide recruitment program and 94 entrepreneurs openly selected from more than 2000 candidates are all in position. The administration has been further streamlined with 63 social management and development and operation functions separated, to realize one-stop services and solutions within SCODA. SCODA adopts an operation model of "administrative committee+corporation". Qingdao SCO Development Group Co., Ltd. has been founded with specialized subsidiaries including SCO Modern Logistics Development Co., Ltd., SCO Modern Trade Development Co., Ltd., SCO Culture and Tourism and Marine Development Co., Ltd. Focus has been put on competitive industries and the dynamism of opening up and development has been enhanced.
"In the new year, we will study the free trade rules of RCEP and other arrangements and learn the practices of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, Pudong New Area and Hainan Free Trade Zone in pilot and innovative approaches, so as to promote investment and trade facilitation and liberalization and form the SCODA model." Meng Qingsheng has made the innovation goal of SCODA in 2021 clearer in his introduction.
Accelerated concentration of resources and factors
In his office at Qingdao·Cooperation Hub for SCO Countries, Wang Zihai, Deputy Director of Pakistan China Center, has conference calls with clients almost every afternoon. "Recently we have organized the Pakistan China Exhibition where 81 Chinese companies display their products via online link and at an offline exhibition in Lahore, Pakistan." Wang Zihai introduced. The Cooperation Hub for SCO Countries in SCODA has helped connect more Chinese companies with Pakistan. For example, Qingdao Greentech Agritech Co.,Ltd., a platform company, has signed an agreement on seawater rice cooperation project with Pakistan. These days, they are talking to chili equipment producers about introducing the project to Pakistan.
Like Wang Zihai, many entrepreneurs are now working in the 30,000-m2 Cooperation Hub for SCO Countries. Benjamin, a wine dealer from Moldova has seen his sales doubled after he came here and sell wines via online and offline exhibition and sales. He himself has also become the image person of Moldovan wines. "With a familiar environment and excellent supporting facilities, more and more friends are coming here." says Benjamin.
As an open supermarket, the Hub keeps improving its functions of international commercial and trade exhibition, international business and commercial services, and international business travel services, and provide the companies, chambers of commerce and associations with IPR protection, legal and financial services. Eurasian Fund, China-Russia Fund has been signed and set up; four international legal service institutions and four famous law firms have also established presence at the Legal and Intellectual Valley.
Besides the physical platform, SCODA has also created online ones which have effectively promoted bilateral and multilateral exchanges and cooperation. The online dialogues with ambassadors of various countries themed "Meeting SCODA on the Cloud for Common Development" and 2020 SCO Summit on Global Supply Chain were held to bring more and more factors of production and resources to Jiaozhou, so as to seize the opportunities of SCODA and create a better future through innovation.