Ningbo has officially released the Action Plan for Building an International Open Hub (2022-2026) (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”) as part of its efforts to transform the city into a metropolis of “six heartlands”.
In line with the Plan, Ningbo is to serve as a global shipping hub, a dual-circulation service hub, a global resource distribution center, an international new trade center, a model for regional coordination and opening up, as well as a highland for the headquarters of multinational enterprises, high-end service industry clusters, and institutional innovation.
By 2026, the cargo throughput of Ningbo Zhoushan Port is to rank first in the world, international trade volume to exceed CNY 1 trillion in exports, imports, and trade in services and digital trade respectively, and the two-way investment to be lifted to USD 40 billion during the five-year period. The number of five types of entities is to double compared with 2021. These include enterprises with an annual import and export volume of more than USD 10 million, trade-oriented enterprises with annual sales of over CNY 5 billion, foreign investment projects with a total investment of more than USD 100 million, filed (approved) projects with Chinese investment of more than USD 30 million, and headquarters economy enterprises.
The Plan maps out ten key tasks including comprehensive transportation and digital openness.
Initiative for Building a Comprehensive Transportation Hub
By 2026, the cargo and container throughput of Ningbo Zhoushan Port is expected to reach 1.33 billion tons and 37 million TEUs respectively. The building of Ningbo West Hub will be accelerated: the main body of the west hub will be in place and surrounding transportation branches will be framed for construction as of 2026. The comprehensive transportation network will be optimized, and the airport will handle over 18.5 million passengers and 200,000 metric tons of cargo by 2026. The high-end port and shipping service industry will see robust growth, with the added value of the city’s high-end shipping service industry accounting for over 40% of the added value of the shipping service industry by 2026.
Initiative for the Construction of “Two Zones”
Taking the construction of the demonstration zone for China-CEEC economic and trade cooperation and the Ningbo area of China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) as the guide, Ningbo is to serve as a springboard for a wider, broader, and deeper level of opening-up.
The city will facilitate the building of FTZ, boost the global impact of the demonstration zone for China-CEEC economic and trade cooperation, promote the upgrading of the development zones, and speed up the innovative development of special customs supervision zones (SCSZs).
Initiative for the Coordination of Production, Consumption, Trade, and Technology
The Plan proposes to generate synergy between the production and consumption sides. The connection between manufacturing enterprises and Internet retail platforms will be strengthened, and enterprises are backed to develop new production models such as large-scale personalized customization. Moreover, the coordination between the trade and production sides will be promoted. Enterprises are encouraged to integrate high-quality channels and resources in the supply chain, so as to build an integrated supply and demand trading platform for procurement and sales, comprehensively improving supply chain management. The city will also boost collaboration between the consumption and trade sides, as well as the role of technology in empowering production, consumption, and trade.
Initiative for Building a Digital Open Hub
Efforts will be made to build a digital port and shipping hub, boosting digital transport, driving the growth of digital trade, as well as setting up sound digital trade industry, platform, ecological, institutional, and regulatory systems. Ningbo will also adopt high standards for building the Alibaba Ningbo digital trade port transit center. Furthermore, the digital regulatory system will be improved by optimizing regulations and issuing guidance in this regard.
Initiative for the Development of New Trade
By 2026, Ningbo’s imports and exports of trade in services are expected to be valued at CNY 500 billion; offshore trade will be worth at least USD 50 billion, paving the way for turning the city into an offshore trade center. Ningbo will also foster new drivers of foreign trade and push for import trade innovation.
Initiative for Building a Global Consumption Hub
Ningbo’s total retail sales of social consumer goods are anticipated to exceed CNY 620 billion by 2026, making it a regional international consumer center. Efforts will also be made to promote the growth of new consumption. By that time, the city’s live-stream e-commerce sales will be estimated at over CNY 120 billion and over 200 time-honored brands will be identified. In addition, Ningbo will continue to improve the convenience and quality of business services provided for community residents, with an aim to build a total of 80 15-minute convenient life circles in the city by 2026.
Initiative for the Connection of Domestic and Foreign Markets
According to the Plan, Ningbo will set up unified rules and standards for domestic and foreign markets, support businesses to strengthen the building of their own brands, and encourage foreign trade enterprises to expand domestic sales channels. What’s more, the city will nurture supply chain leaders, aiming to introduce more than 10 leading enterprises by 2026.
Initiative for the Nurturing of Global Headquarters
By giving full play to the advantages of the port, Ningbo aims to attract a number of regional headquarters and functional headquarters of enterprises within the framework of reinforced and upgraded links in the industrial chains and focus on targeted investment promotion. By 2026, over 100 projects for the reinforcement and upgrading of industrial chains will be introduced, and at least 10 iconic industrial chains with greater influence and a full-cycle service chain for foreign capital are expected to be forged. By that time, the city will have carried out more than 200 activities for foreign investment promotion and will step up efforts to nurture at least 20 local multinational enterprises every year.
Initiative for the Regional Coordination and Opening up
By 2026, the imports and exports between Ningbo and the BRI countries (regions) is to hit CNY 500 billion, and the accumulated investment filing amount to reach USD 3.5 billion. The city aims to build itself into a marine hub and a national leader in marine economy, with a total economic output accounting for CNY 340 billion of GDP. Ningbo is to emerge as a crucial part of the integrated development of the world-class city cluster in the Yangtze River Delta.
Initiative for Promoting International Exchanges and Cooperations
Ningbo looks to expand and deepen cooperation in health care, and scientific and technological innovation, improve the quality of cooperation in education, and promote two-way cultural exchanges.
The Plan calls for greater efforts to improve mechanisms of organization guarantee, policy support, as well as assessment and supervision, and build an index system characterized by global presence, resource allocation capability, and influence, so as to bring a rosy future to Ningbo with a strong commitment to opening up.
Reporter: Yin Hao
Translators: Mei Jie, Zhou Shiyi
Proofreaders: Puyang Rong, Yao Zhanhong, Jason Mowbray