CHENGDU/CHONGQING — As another important regional development strategy, the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle in Southwest China is glittering under the spotlight of “coordinated regional development” highlighted in the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
On Nov 28, construction of the middle line of the Chengdu-Chongqing high-speed railway broke ground, which will slash the travel time between the two cities to just 50 minutes after completion.
In 2022 alone, Sichuan province, where Chengdu is the capital, and Chongqing municipality carried out 160 major projects in building the economic circle, with an investment of 188.95 billion yuan ($27.1 billion).
Located in China’s western inland area, transportation upgrade has always been a priority for the two cities in their development and integration. In addition to several high-speed rails under construction, the number of interprovincial expressways linking Sichuan and Chongqing has reached 20, and a world-class airport cluster is also taking shape.
In the energy sector, the output of the mega Sichuan-Chongqing natural gas production base exceeded 32 billion cubic meters in the first half of the year. The Sichuan-Chongqing 1000kV UHV AC project and the south Sichuan-west Chongqing gas pipeline are progressing smoothly.
“We will work hard to strengthen infrastructure and promote the free flow and efficient aggregation of production factors,” said Huang Zhi, deputy director of Chongqing municipal development and reform commission.
In the meantime, Sichuan and Chongqing’s advantageous industries are realizing integration and promotion.
“Among our 95 core suppliers, 12 are from Chongqing, which has effectively reduced our risks and costs,” said Li Zhiqiang, head of the manufacturing department of FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co Ltd Chengdu branch.
Li said Chongqing is also an important logistics distribution center of the company, thanks to its various transportation modes, one of which connects the Yangtze River and the sea route.
To promote the transformation and upgrading of their advantageous industries, such as automobile and electronics, Sichuan and Chongqing have set up a special office to jointly build an industrial chain supply and demand information docking platform, attract foreign investment, and build industrial cooperation parks.
More profoundly, Sichuan and Chongqing have joined hands to build a “western science city,” aiming at solving the shortcomings of basic scientific research and innovation, and carrying out scientific research on major technical difficulties.
In September this year, the Chongqing metropolitan area development plan was officially released, and Sichuan’s Guang’an city was included in the plan.
“The plan has taken down administrative barriers, which is a breakthrough in planning, policy coordination, collaborative innovation, and joint construction and sharing, and hopefully, we can gather experience for the development of cross-province urban agglomeration and metropolitan area,” said Zhu Jiang, deputy director of Chongqing municipal development and reform commission.