The Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone Broadening City’s Economy

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By Jean-Charles Briand

NINGBO, July 29 – The Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, located northeast of the city center and to the west of the Beilun District and the Ningbo port, serves as a powerful instrument for Ningbo’s shift from a single export-oriented model to that of a more comprehensive economy.

NBHTZ, which covers an area of 18.9 square kilometers, was created in 1999 and upgraded to a state level zone in January 2007. In line with these policies, NBHTZ has succeeded in bringing together more than 2,000 high-tech companies through preferential policies such as tax rebates, low rent or subsidies for equipment and also through the construction of a 250,000 square meter entrepreneurship base. Currently there are almost 600 enterprises in the zone.

Furthermore, at the heart of NBHTZ is the Ningbo Research and Development Park, still under construction. The project, was developed by NBHTZ, the Greentown group and the Zhejiang University and launched in 2006. When the third and final phase of construction is complete at the end of 2009, the NBRDP will have 600,000 sq meters of total floor area spread over a site of 300,000 sq meters. The park’s total investment has been RMB3 billion of which RMB1 billion has been allocated for technical services infrastructures such as standardization, metering, and safety of special equipment, as well as safety of drug and medical equipment, public software service, and public energy-saving.

NBHTZ and NBRDP enclose 150 private and public research and development institutes. Besides company laboratories, there are also college facilities such as the Zhejiang University National Science Park which is located in NBRDP or the Ningbo University which neighbors NBHTZ. Other public institutes and several technical services in the area include the Chinese Academy of Science, the Ningbo Innovation Center, and the Torch Mansion.

Consequently, the NBHTZ now has a strong pool of high tech organizations in several sectors of which the primary are micro and photo electronics, telecommunication, advanced mechanics, and new energies. The automobile electronics, new materials, and software industries are also well developed in the NBHTZ. As for encouraged industries, there are the optical and electronic integration in addition to pharmaceutical and ocean biomedicine industries.

In 2006, the GDP of the zone reached RMB 4.5 billion, while its total infrastructure investment amounted to over RMB2.6 billion. Total foreign investment has topped US$9 million, and total domestic investment is over RMB10.9 billion.

Another advantage of NBHTZ is its capacity to attract talented people thanks to niceties such as the Zhejiang Postdoctoral Workstation, the Ningbo Doctoral Pioneering Park and the Innovation Park for Overseas Chinese Scholars. Nevertheless, the local educational system with 9 universities and colleges and many professional training schools has the necessary resources for supplying the qualified technical workforce. So far, 28,000 people work in the zone.

NBHTZ is accessibly located in the new round of development of Ningbo, which is quite close from the city’s center. Consequently, the zone benefits from all the infrastructures of Ningbo. For example, Lishe Airport is only 10 kilometers away, and NBHTZ is linked to the south with the Hangzhou-Ningbo expressway and connected to the north by the Hangzhou Bay Bridge. Moreover, the zone benefits also from all the convenient facilities located in Ningbo such as shopping centers, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, banks, post offices, hotels, recreational centers, and fitness centers. Finally, the new municipal administration center is located near the NBHTZ. Local authorities are also striving to turn the whole city into an environmentally friendly area

For more information about NBHTZ and NBRDP, please contact the Tracy Mao with zone’s administrative committee.

For assistance with legal incorporation and tax advice in Ningbo, please contact Lily Wang, manager, Dezan Shira & Associates Ningbo office.