Science park goes ahead in Tianjin
From JOHN KOHUT in Beijing
DESPITE the government's clampdown on new development zones, Tianjin has given permission for a new science and technology park aimed at attracting mainland Chinese now studying and working abroad.
The development zone, called the China Returned Scholars (Tianjin) Scientific and Technological Pioneering Park, was approved by the government last week and work is expected to begin on the project next month.
''The government wants to attract overseas students because so many have studied and worked abroad and are a very valuable resource,'' said Jiang Jiliang, general manager of the project.
He said the one sq km zone, next to the Tianjin Economic and Technological Open Area, would offer perks similar to those in other such development areas, such as a tax holiday for the first three years of a venture's operations.
With the central government now keeping a tight control on credit, Mr Jiang admits it may be hard to raise money from Chinese banks during these times of austerity.
However, the promoters of the new development zone hope to attract finance from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and are now seeking support from the Asian Development Bank.
The zone is being set up by the State Science and Technology Commission, the Tianjin Tanggu Economic Development Co and three firms set up abroad by mainland Chinese. Its aim is to attract 50 projects a year.