Rising to challenges: Shunde in Guangdong upgrading its village-level industrial parks

SHUNDE, China, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2019, significant progress has been made and great resolve demonstrated by Shunde, a district of the southern Chinese city of Foshan in Guangdong province, in upgrading village-level industrial parks. 1,030.7 hectares of land have been consolidated and 114 hectares turned into reclaimed and afforested areas. And 7 million square meters of new factories have been built and 4,178 backward and unreliable companies closed. 382 village-level industrial parks
are planned to be replaced by 20 modern industrial clusters. With that, a scatter of small, underdeveloped factories becomes history and a new manufacturing landscape in Shunde that features a coordinated and orderly industrial ecosystem emerges.

According to the Office of Village-Level Industrial Park Upgrading in Shunde District, with two-month effort led by 15 groups of people visiting over 2,500 households in the Huaxi village of Shunde, the major upgrade to the village-based Baochong Industrial Park finally makes progress, with 98.8% voting in favor.

This, however, is but a common example of the upgrading of 382 village-level industrial parks taking place in Shunde.

Shunde has decided to make such upgrading a top priority, as resources for development runs short and the path for growth is not clear, the renovating effort will enable Shunde to reform institutions, upgrade industries and shape another pattern, therefore delivering more opportunities for quality development.

In the 1990s, the village-level industrial parks led by township enterprises in Shunde sprang up. Tremendous productive forces were unleashed, a passion for entrepreneurship inspired, and a complete industrial chain fostered. It was the resulting business climate that created the Fortune Global 500 companies of Midea and Country Garden and turned Shunde into a renowned manufacturing center.

Yet these parks have now become a drag on industrial upgrading. A myriad of problems they involve, such as the complexities of land ownership, serious safety issues, and inefficient operation, have slowed the influx of talents and innovation factors and hampered Shunde's growth.

"In the pursuit of quality development, the village-level industrial parks represent the toughest nut to crack. An all-out effort must be made to win the battle since there are no two ways about it," said Guo Wenhai, secretary of the CPC Shunde Committee.

Upgrading these parks is the only way out for Shunde. These parks that once led the district to prosperity are still the key to its future.

The solution to the upgrading of village-level industrial parks can only be obtained through practice since there is no precedent to follow. Shunde is resolved to press ahead despite difficulties. If success is made in this pursuit, the district will be not just an epitome of the development of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), but also a fine example of the industrial upgrading of the PRD and the quality economic growth of the country. A new era calls for a new round of reforms. As quality development represents the trend of our times, the upgrading of village-level industrial parks will provide an opportunity for Shunde to accelerate the shift of the growth model and embark on a new journey of development.

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