Pull the Strength of the Whole City! Qingdao Issued a High-level Document: Pull the Strength of the Whole City to Build SCODA by Higher Standards
Make still further progress! Qingdao is calling for more strenuous efforts across the whole city to develop SCODA in a larger area, broader sectors and at a higher level!
Recently, the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee and Qingdao Municipal Government issued the Opinions on Promoting the Construction of the SCODA through Coordination across the Whole Region (hereinafter referred to as the Opinions), requiring the deepening of the local economic and trade cooperation with the SCO countries by tapping into the resources of the whole Qingdao, and building SCODA with high standards.
It is a major mission entrusted to Qingdao by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Central Party Committee to build SCODA. Qingdao has spared no effort in better developing SCODA and raising its reputation.
Take the construction of SCODA as the shared opportunity and responsibility of the whole city, and implement the guideline of "leading by one core and coordinating the whole region". The Opinions explicitly required the whole city should form synergy, deepen local exchanges and cooperation with SCO countries, accelerate the building of a new platform for international cooperation under the "Belt and Road" initiative, promote the formation of an open pattern of opening up through links across land and over sea, running eastward and westward, and accelerate the building of a modern socialist international metropolis in the new era.
The Opinions set a clear goal: by 2025, SCODA will be able to give full play to its geographical advantages of land and sea connectivity and function as comprehensive transportation hubs, and continue to play a prominent role as a gateway for SCO countries toward the Asia-Pacific market, thus substantially improving the development, recognition and reputation of SCODA. The total import and export volume between Qingdao and the SCO countries increased at an average annual rate of 10%, and the average annual growth rate of the two-way investment volume was over 10%. The number of China Railway Express has exceeded 800. People-to-people and cultural exchanges have grown closer. A regional logistics center, a modern trade center, a two-way investment center and a commercial, tourism and cultural exchange center have been basically completed.
The introduction of the Opinions is not only a "mission statement" for the construction of SCODA, but shows the determination of Qingdao to expand its opening-up.
We dare to be the first and play a pilot and demonstrative role. We will render the development of SCODA faster, higher and stronger. Qingdao will charter a new blueprint and embark on a new voyage.
Think big and do small.
Its special role in history has determined the extraordinary beginning.
Reform is surging by the coast of the Yellow Sea. Since 2018, Qingdao has formed an unbreakable bond with the SCO. In June 2018, President Xi Jinping announced at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao Summit that the Chinese Government supports building a demonstration area in Qingdao for local economic and trade cooperation between China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Building SCODA well has become a top priority of Qingdao.
On July 24, 2019, the 9th Meeting of the Commission for Further Reform Under the CPC Central Committee was convened. The meeting deliberated and passed the General Plan for the Construction of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area. On September 20, 2019, the State Council approved the General Plan for the Construction of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area. On October 20, the Ministry of Commerce and Shandong Provincial People's Government jointly issued the General Plan for the Construction of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area. At this point, the SCODA has a top-level design, with the General Plan serving as a "guidance manual" and "operational guide" for the construction of SCODA.
The drum of battle is on, and the horse's hooves are fast. The principal leaders of the CPC Shandong Provincial Committee and the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee attached great importance to the construction of SCODA, held many meetings and visited SCODA to coordinate and promote its construction. SCODA bears in mind the instructions and strives to be the pioneer. It takes the initiative to serve and integrate into the national strategy of opening up, and unite the "strength of SCO" with opening up. The construction of the "four centers" of international logistics, modern trade, two-way investment cooperation, and the commercial, tourism and cultural exchange development, has gained a sound momentum of full prosperity and speedy growth.
At present, the world has entered a period of upheaval and transformation amid the interwoven changes of the century and the pandemic. Against the backdrop of profound adjustments in the pattern of global industrial and supply chains, it is of even greater significance to speed up the construction of SCODA. Since last year, the principal leaders of the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee inspected and promoted the development of SCODA, and required that SCODA strengthen the sense of mission, responsibility and urgency, further optimize the target and development path of SCODA, build the four centers for international logistics, modern trade and two-way investment, and the commercial, tourism and cultural exchanges by high standards, speed up the high-quality development of SCODA, and better serve the national strategy.
The Opinions issued this time took a higher perspective and formulated the objectives and tasks of building the four centers from a higher level and higher standards. It required to implement the "six major actions" in a down-to-earth manner and provide a guarantee in three aspects. The key tasks and detailed rules of action specified in the Opinions reflect the overall interests of serving the country's international cooperation, and adhere to the general tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability. It is a new thinking and new achievement of "taking the new development stage as the starting point, and the complete, accurate and comprehensive implementation of the new development concept, and the active service and integration into the new development pattern". It is the further refinement and implementation of the overall plan, and the "roadmap" and "task sheet" of pulling the strength of the whole city to facilitate the accelerated rising of SCODA.
Focusing on "Main Responsibility and Main Business" and Accelerating the Construction of "Four Centers"
Four key tasks for the construction of the SCODA have been identified in the General plan approved by the State Council, namely, to strengthen connectivity and build a regional logistics center; strengthen trade cooperation and build a modern trade center; strengthen production capacity cooperation and establish a two-way investment cooperation center; strengthen the integration of commerce, tourism and culture, and build the commercial, tourism and cultural exchange center.
The Opinions further focused on the "main responsibility and main business" of SCODA, and clarified the key tasks and target requirements of accelerating the construction of the "four centers" from 19 key tasks in four aspects.
First, speed up the construction of the regional logistics center, and it is required to focus on improving the level of connectivity, optimizing the function of comprehensive logistics hubs, building domestic and international multimodal transportation centers, developing the modern logistics industry and expanding international logistics cooperation.
-- Enhance connectivity and support Qingdao Port in opening more trunk routes to major ports in SCO countries, Japan and South Korea. It is necessary to optimize the function of the comprehensive logistics hub, enhance the function of Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport as an international hub, and support the construction of transshipment centers and off-site cargo terminals of air cargo enterprises. It is necessary to build a domestic and international multimodal transport organization center, promote the expansion and increment of international freight trains, cultivate and upgrade the "SCO Express" and "Japan-South Korea Land-Sea Express" and other freight train service brands, create a "freight train economy" ecosystem, and explore and promote the "single document" mode of multimodal transport.
Second, accelerate the building of a modern trade center, expand cooperation in bulk commodity trade, accelerate the development of cross-border e-commerce, explore new forms of trade, and enhance the international influence of exhibitions.
-- Expand trade cooperation in bulk commodities, focus on characteristic agricultural products, energy, minerals and timber, gather high-level trading entities, and enhance trade volume and resource allocation capacity with the SCO countries and countries along the Belt and Road. We will accelerate the development of cross-border e-commerce, encourage enterprises to set up overseas warehouses in the SCO countries, continue to hold activities such as "Product Promotion by Ambassadors" and product exhibitions and sales, promote the international influence of exhibitions, and strive for the support of the relevant ministries and commissions. We will also follow the regulations and organize SCO International Investment and Trade Expo & SCO Qingdao Forum on Local Economic and Trade Cooperation, enrich the connotation and expand the scale, promoting industrial exchanges and cooperation with SCO countries in various fields.
Third, we will accelerate the establishment of a two-way investment center, strengthen cooperation in research and development and technology transfer, deepen cooperation in modern agriculture, expand international cooperation in energy, innovate the interactive development model of industrial parks, build a comprehensive service platform for "going global", and deepen financial cooperation.
-- We will strengthen cooperation in R&D and technology transfer, give full play to the role of the China-SCO Technology Transfer Center, guide universities, institutions and enterprises from SCO countries to carry out R&D or technology transfer cooperation in Qingdao, and make good use of the Qingdao Science and Technology Innovation Foundation to promote the transfer and transformation of technologies. We will expand international energy cooperation, strive to set up the Qingdao Office of the Secretariat of the "Belt and Road" Energy Cooperation Partnership, and enhance the attraction of energy cooperation projects. We will set up a comprehensive service platform for "going global", establish an enterprise alliance for the joint development of SCO in Qingdao, and rely on the Business Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to gather the business associations, service organizations and enterprises from SCO countries.
Fourth, we will accelerate the establishment of a commercial, tourism and cultural exchange center, promote the establishment of the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade, create a distinctive brand of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, deepen international cooperation in tourism development, and promote international judicial exchanges and cooperation.
-- We will promote the construction of the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade, actively carry out economic and trade training programs and foreign aid training programs, and strengthen the cultivation of economic and trade personnel for the SCO and countries along the Belt and Road. We will deepen exchanges and cooperation with educational institutions in SCO countries, support Chinese-foreign cooperation programs in colleges and universities of Qingdao, and offer Russian classes with special features in senior high schools. We will promote international judicial exchanges and cooperation, and strengthen the judicial exchanges and cooperation with SCO countries by leveraging the "Law and Intelligence Valley" of the SCO, the China-SCO Judge Exchange Base, and the "one-stop" comprehensive legal service platform.
The "four centers and 19 tasks" explicitly laid out the targets of SCODA's future endeavors. This is a "mission statement" and a "list of responsibilities". Relevant departments need to make concerted efforts to implement it, and work hard and make breakthroughs in innovation to promote high-quality development.
Implement the "Six Major Actions" and Finalize the "Project List"
Once the plan is set and the foundation is laid, the objectives can be realized.
In order to ensure the implementation of key tasks, the Opinions requires all departments in Qingdao to thoroughly implement the "six major actions", adhere to the one-core guidance and regional promotion, promote international cooperation and institutional innovation, strengthen platform empowerment and project support, and strive to build a leading pole and demonstration area of local economic and trade cooperation across the world.
-- Lead the actions with one core. We will build SCODA into a showroom of the achievements of deepening cooperation between Qingdao and SCO countries and a major platform for landmark major projects and leading reform measures.
-- Pull the strength of the whole region. We will adhere to the principle of coordination of the whole city, strengthen the integration of resources and overall planning of strengths in the whole region, and fully mobilize the enthusiasm and initiative of all districts, county-level cities and departments, thus serving the construction of SCODA.
-- International cooperation. We will make full use of the outcomes of meetings of the Council of Heads of State and the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States, and strive to host major events within the SCO framework in accordance with the relevant regulations.
-- Institutional innovation. We will take into consideration the demand for local economic and trade cooperation with SCO countries, strengthen economic and trade studies of relevant nations, deepen joint innovation among customs, taxation and other departments in areas of logistics, trade and investment, and introduce more institutional innovation measures.
-- Platform empowerment. We will leverage the advantages of the Qingdao Area of Shandong Pilot Free Trade Zone, various comprehensive bonded areas and the RCEP Qingdao Pilot Innovation Base for Economic and Trade Cooperation to facilitate the economic and trade cooperation between enterprises and SCO countries.
-- Project support. We will establish a list of key cooperation projects with SCO countries, sort out a number of projects with outstanding SCO elements and strong driving force, and improve the model of "reserving a batch of projects, signing a batch of projects, building a batch of projects and putting them into production".
The goals are clear, and the tasks are specified, so the responsibility lies in the implementation. To this end, the Opinions sorted out the division of responsibilities of the key work of the whole-region coordination, made a detailed division of responsibilities for each action, and defined the content of measures, leading departments and responsible departments. For example, in the whole-region promotion action, the leading departments are the General Office of the Municipal Committee and the General Office of the Municipal Government, and the responsible department is the member departments of the leading group of the promotion and implementation of SCODA and each district (county-level city). In promoting the construction of the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade, the leading departments include SCODA, Qingdao University and Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Education, and the responsible departments are Qingdao Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, Jiaozhou City, Shandong University (Qingdao), Qingdao Institute of Fudan University, Qingdao Institute of the University of International Business and Economics, and Shandong Vocational College of Foreign Trade.
Development is the key, and projects are the priorities. The Opinions also sorted out a list of major cooperation projects for SCO countries, and made a comprehensive review of 78 major cooperation projects that Qingdao is implementing or planning to implement in the fields of logistics, trade, two-way investment and commercial, tourism and cultural exchanges. These include the demonstration project of the China-Europe Freight Train Assembly Center, the SCO International Investment and Trade Expo, and the SCO Media & Think Tank Forum. These projects will serve as the "pillars" of high-quality development of SCODA, and help bring the new platform for Belt and Road international cooperation to a new level.
In order to ensure the rapid progress of various tasks in the Opinions, the Opinions also laid out specific supporting schemes. The first is to strengthen the organizational structure; the second is to strengthen the guarantee of factors; and the third is to strengthen supervision and assessment, publicity and promotion.
Now that the goals are set, we must make all-out efforts to achieve them. In the new journey toward the second centenary goal, Qingdao is comprehensively promoting and deepening the construction of SCODA. We will spare no effort to seize the day and continue to write more splendid SCO stories.