Investment booms in province in 2020
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, North China's Shanxi province has witnessed a boom in investment over the past year, with more than 7,200 new projects breaking ground in 2020.
These projects, with a combined investment of 1.24 trillion yuan ($190 billion), have driven the province's year-on-year fixed-asset investment growth to 10.6 percent in 2020, much higher than the national average of 7.7 percent, according to the Shanxi Statistics Bureau. The growth also ranked Shanxi second in the country, the province's best ranking in two decades.
Among the projects, nearly 2,000 have settled in Shanxi's various industrial zones, mainly engaged in such emerging and high-tech sectors as biomedicines, new energy, new infrastructure featuring the new generation of information technology, advanced manufacturing, electronics, integrated circuit and semiconductors.
More than 900 projects in the zones and parks became operational last year, according to the Shanxi Statistics Bureau.
Jinbo Biology is a high-tech company in the Shanxi Transition and Comprehensive Reform Demonstration Zone in Taiyuan. It announced in September 2020 the mass production of the nation's first recombined human-source collagen product, which was developed in cooperation with Shanghai-based Fudan University and the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dayun Group, a Shanxi automaker based in the city of Yuncheng, started the operation of a new energy vehicle plant in September 2020. With the new facility, Dayun has an NEV rolling off its assembly lines in every two minutes. The company reported an output value of 50 billion yuan for the past year.
On March 6, Shanxi's largest lithium-battery energy storage equipment manufacturing project began construction in the city of Shuozhou.
With a total investment of 500 million yuan by local Huashuo New Energy Technology and Nengji Smart Technology, the project has six production lines with an annual capacity of 1 gigawatt-hours.
Behind the investment boom are Shanxi's favorable policies for emerging and high-tech industries, as well as the local authorities' efforts in improving the investment environment, according to local officials and businesspeople.
Shanxi's business climate improved substantially last year as the government continued its endeavors in streamlining administrative services, according to Zhang Jun, an executive at Tai'an New Energy Technology based in the city of Xinzhou.
"The provincial government has further delegated its approval rights to the local governments, making it possible for us to get all the approval procedures through in the local city," Zhang said.
He added that the local government has streamlined approval procedures for starting a business.
"We needed to go through about 30 approval procedures relating to business registration, land use and construction in the past," Zhang said. "And now only six procedures are required to start a project."
Wang Pei contributed to this story.
A new plant for light-emitting displays operates in the Changzhi Optics and Electronics Industrial Park. WANG PEI/FOR CHINA DAILY