Shanxi's officials and business representatives attend the groundbreaking ceremony for Taiyuan Heavy Machinery Group's smart manufacturing park on March 28. [Photo by Li Lianjun for China Daily]
A groundbreaking ceremony for an advanced smart equipment manufacturing park was held in Taiyuan on March 28, marking a new step in Shanxi province on the path to transforming its economy toward high-quality growth driven by emerging, high-tech industries.
The project is funded by local equipment manufacturing giant Taiyuan Heavy Machinery Group.
Lou Yangsheng, Party secretary of Shanxi province, presided over the launch ceremony and laid a cornerstone for the project.
The industrial park, covering nearly 120 hectares, will offer a base for advanced manufacturing assisted by 5G, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technologies.
It is the latest move in Shanxi's economic transformation following a number of high-tech projects launched earlier that week.
On March 22, Shanxi's development zones and industrial parks collectively announced the launch of 259 projects, involving a combined investment of 106.8 billion yuan ($16.3 billion).
At the projects' launch ceremony that day in the Shanxi Transformation and Comprehensive Reform Demonstration Zone in Taiyuan, Lou said he felt "encouraged by the strong momentum of Shanxi's economic transformation".
The Party chief called for further efforts to help the transformation. He asked local officials to create a favorable business climate by "addressing pressing issues, creating incentive policies and improving services".
The day also witnessed the official beginning of 204 projects with a combined investment of 42.58 billion yuan and the signing of agreements on 344 investment projects with funding totaling 224 billion yuan.
A sapphire substrate manufacturing plant－funded by Richangjing New Materials in the city of Yangquan, eastern Shanxi－is among the newly launched high-tech projects in the province.
When talking about its "miraculous speed of construction", Hao Ronggui, general manager of the company based in Yangquan, said special thanks should be given to the local government.
"The efficiency in administrative services is impressive," Hao said. "And when the construction began the officials were always on site to help us solve all kinds of problems."
"Thanks to the government's support, it took only five months and 12 days for us to complete the process from business registration, land acquisition, plant construction and equipment installation to trial operation," Hao said.
Richangjing New Materials is a manufacturer of sapphire substrate, a material used in the production of light-emitting display devices and semiconductors.
With the new plant, Hao said Richangjing is expected to grow into one of the largest sapphire substrate producers in the world.
The company is also building facilities for the production of new materials such as lithium tantalate and lithium niobate, to boost its supplies to the semiconductor industry.
Wu Jia contributed to this story.