— An exclusive interview with Mr. He Shaowei, Secretary of CPC Commission and Director of the Management Committee of China-Thailand Chongzuo Industrial Park (CTCIP)
The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 has brought serious challenges to the Chinese economy. However, there has been no confirmed case in Chongzuo, a city bordering Vietnam. Thanks to this, CTCIP in Chongzuo takes the lead in reopening the economy while maintaining epidemic prevention and control, a highlight in Chongzuo and even overall China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation.
As an industrial park featuring transnational cooperation between China and ASEAN, what encouraging progress has CTCIP made since its launching, what role has it played in Sino-Thai cooperation, and how will it promote its stable economic growth amid COVID-19? Recently, Mr. He Shaowei, Secretary of CPC Commission and Director of the Management Committee of CTCIP gave an interview with China-ASEAN Panorama Magazine Agency.
Planting phoenix trees, then phoenixes will come
Recently, the construction of CTCIP is in full swing, setting off a new round of infrastructure and industrial development. For example, the construction of electric power, telecommunication and sewage of Haotian Plastic Industry Co., Ltd., with a total investment of RMB 250 million yuan was started; Guangxi Yizhitong Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd.’s 217-million-yuan waste packaging containers project with, 15,000-ton annual capacity was completed; the project of Golden Elephant Science and Technology Park, with a total investment of RMB 376 million yuan, is rolling ahead with all main buildings expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“In line with the goal and direction of the park, CTCIP has achieved remarkable results. It has made good progress in land acquisition and demolition, infrastructure construction, business attraction, and investment and financing,” said He.
Once a barren land, CTCIP now enjoys prosperity far beyond expectation.
On land acquisition and demolition, CTCIP has acquired more than 1,800 hectares of land in the past three years, laying a good foundation for infrastructure projects. On infrastructure construction, according to the existing shortcomings of the park, we have stepped up infrastructure construction in recent years — we have built two sewage treatment plants, completed the construction of more than 1 million square meters of standard factory buildings, and built more than 3,700 apartments, to meet the basic needs of enterprises and workers in the park. On business attraction, more than 70 enterprises, including 44 large and medium-sized ones, have signed entry agreements with the park since 2016. On investment financing, the industrial construction and investment company in the park has been upgraded to an industrial investment group (a company of 2A credit rating). The company has substantially enhanced its financing ability and effectively met the demand for capital investment in the park.
“So far, we have made remarkable outcomes in financing. We have raised more than RMB 3 billion yuan. In addition, we have also got financing from local government bonds and special bonds for urban renovation. With financing, capital will come. Thus the construction of supporting facilities will be sped up, and more enterprises will be attracted to the park,” commented He.
Plant phoenix trees, then phoenixes will come. With the notable improvement of soft and hard facilities in CTCIP, a number of well-known enterprises in China and other countries have established presence in the park. He said that since its launching, CTCIP has successfully introduced more than 100 enterprises including Mitr Phol Group-East Asia Sugar Group, COFCO Tunhe Chongzuo Sugar Industry Co., Ltd., Chinalco Guangxi Guosheng Rare Earth and Jinwutong Food. These companies enjoy more than 20% growth in the annual output, which has sustained the development of the park.
“The total industrial output of CTCIP has jumped from RMB 5.1 billion yuan in 2015 to RMB 10 billion yuan in 2019. Its fixed asset investment has skyrocketed from RMB 100 million yuan in 2015 to RMB 5.1 billion yuan, up by dozens of times. Thanks to our efforts in recent years, we can see that CTCIP is now moving on a track of sound development, ” noted He.
A platform focused on Sino-Thai cooperation
In CTCIP, there is a sugar-cycling project, with a total investment of RMB 2.748 billion yuan, implemented by Guangxi Chongzuo East Asia Sugar Co., Ltd in the Guangxi (China) Sugar Industry Zone. In 2018, Chongzuo East Asia Sugar Co., Ltd moved to the park, marking the official settlement of Guangxi (China) Sugar Industry Zone in Chongzuo — “the capital of sugar”.
This is a major project invested by Mitr Phol Group, the largest sugar group in Thailand. As a world-class enterprise integrating production, visit and tourism, it will promote automation and intelligent development of the sugar industry in Guangxi.
“In 2018, Chongzuo East Asia Sugar Co., Ltd stepped up technical innovation and raised its productivity by using bagasse to generate electricity. Besides, it has attracted close attention from government officials and enterprises in Thailand,” said He. As an important platform for Sino-Thai industrial cooperation, CTCIP is committed to deepening its cooperation between China and Thailand in traditional industries and emerging strategic industries, including food processing, new material processing and logistics.
He said that there is a food-processing zone for processing specialty from ASEAN countries. Moreover, CTCIP has built a chemical-processing zone covering about 600 hectares, which is convenient for Thai companies to deep-process and recycle rubber. “Now, we are building a bonded warehouse in the park, which will offer preferential policies in the processing of rice and other agricultural products for Thai companies,” added He.
Building a model for Sino-Thai cooperation
In the first quarter of 2020, the industrial output of CTCIP achieved the target of 10% year-on-year growth.
For further development, He said, “First, it is important to market preferential policies among Thai companies; Second, we will reach out to media as an effective way to build CTCIP into a high-profile brand; Third, we will take Mitr Phol Group as a successful model for investment to attract other Thai enterprises.” In the end, He stressed that CTCIP is an effective platform for industrial cooperation between China and Thailand.
· Source: China-ASEAN Panorama