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In a decade, Liaoning is transformed

By WU YONG in Shenyang and ZHANG XIAOMIN in Dalian, Liaoning China Daily Updated: 2022-07-19

Editor's note: China has seen tremendous changes nationwide, from economic growth to environmental protection, from social improvement to cultural progress. In this series, China Daily maps the changes and tells the stories of the people who lived through them.

Containers wait for shipping at a port in Dalian, Liaoning. WANG HUA/FOR CHINA DAILY

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Liaoning province has accelerated its industrial transformation and upgrading, expanded its opening-up efforts and achieved remarkable results in terms of socioeconomic development.

Lida, a village located on the western outskirts of Shenyang city, has occupied the limelight recently as it has become home to a new plant operated by BMW Brilliance, which is emblematic of the great changes that have occurred in Liaoning over the past decade.

On June 23, the German automaker opened the plant in the provincial capital with an investment of 15 billion yuan ($2.23 billion) and named it after the village. "The new plant can be reconfigured to only produce electric vehicles depending on market demand, thanks to its flexible manufacturing line," said Jochen Goller, president and CEO of the BMW Group Region China.

Since 2010, BMW Brilliance has invested around 83 billion yuan in Shenyang, making the northeastern city the company's largest production center in the world.

Liaoning, which faces Japan and the Korean Peninsula across the Yellow Sea, is the only dual land and sea gateway in northeastern China. It is also one of the most convenient transit hubs in northeastern Asia. Following decades of development, the province has built up a strong support base for resources, industries, science and education, training, infrastructure and other areas, and has nurtured great potential for development.

Sources from the province's Industry and Information Department said that Liaoning boasts a comprehensive industrial sector, home to 500 of the 666 industrial subcategories recognized in China.

Structural adjustment

In recent years, Liaoning has made structural adjustments to its core mission and accelerated the establishment of a working system that integrates mechanisms, planning, funding and projects.

During the 13th Liaoning CPC Provincial Congress in December, Zhang Guoqing, Liaoning's Party chief, said that the province should accelerate its drive toward intelligent manufacturing.

Last year, the provincial government set up a special fund of 2.08 billion yuan to support technological transformation and digital empowerment projects. Shenyang, Dalian, Anshan and other cities also set up special funds amounting to 2.57 billion yuan to support the technological transformation of companies.

Positive progress has been made in digital and intelligent transformation. So far, in large-scale industrial enterprises, key process numerical control and digital R&D design tool penetration rates stand at 55.2 percent and 73.8 percent, respectively.

Dalian-based Dayang Group, a large-scale exporter of made-to-measure suits with 4,500 employees, has transformed its AI production system and invested 200 million yuan in making the company a global AI-driven garment producer.

"By optimizing our AI production system, we have placed our focus on digitalization for the sake of our customers, suppliers, producers and distributors," said Hu Dongmei, Dayang Group general manager.

"Clients' needs are modularized before being mass-produced. Now, our overall production capacity has been increased and modernized," she said, adding that overall production efficiency for customized clothing has increased by 22 percent, and the product repair rate is less than 5 percent.

Industrial robots assemble cars at the BMW Brilliance factory in Tiexi district, Shenyang, Liaoning province, on June 18. YANG QING/XINHUA

Coastal cities

There are six coastal cities on the Liaodong Peninsula: Dandong, Dalian, Yingkou, Panjin, Jinzhou and Huludao. They work together to advance the goal of coordinated regional development.

In February, Liaoning's Development and Reform Commission held a meeting in Dalian to promote the coastal economic belt. The meeting stressed the importance of the belt's development as a key measure in promoting the overall revitalization of northeastern China.

During the event, government leaders from the cities signed cooperation agreements to carry out 27 major tasks this year, including setting up a strategic technology and innovation alliance for maritime industries, deepening cooperation with Japan and South Korea, and promoting the establishment of industrial investment funds.

Since 2009, when the area's overall development plan was launched, the six cities have made positive progress in many fields, including industrial transformation, institutional innovation, opening-up and cooperation, and infrastructure development.

A wetland on the Liaodong Peninsula in Liaoning has become a sanctuary for migratory birds. CHINA DAILY

Opening up

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, international cooperation has expanded in the province at a faster pace.

Data from the Liaoning Commercial Department show that between 2013 and last year, the total value of imported and exported goods rose to $944.82 billion. Commodities produced in the province have been exported to 214 countries and regions around the world.

Last year, the import and export of goods stood at 772.4 billion yuan, up 17.6 percent year-on-year, with imports standing at their highest level in the province's history.

Investment has gradually expanded from traditional sectors, such as metallurgy, petrochemicals and automobiles, to emerging sectors including new-generation information technology, intelligent manufacturing and advanced materials.

Since its establishment in 2017, the China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone has made a number of innovations at the institutional level. Data from the province's Commercial Department show that 71,316 businesses have registered to open in the zone, including 1,173 foreign-invested enterprises with registered capital of 929.54 billion yuan.

According to the 13th Liaoning CPC Provincial Congress, the province will continue to develop as a new frontier of opening-up, accelerate the transportation of domestic and foreign goods to Europe via its ports, keep sea and land passages open and create a more convenient and efficient province that is better integrated into the new development pattern.