Shandong expands coordinated regional development

(| Updated : 2020-11-30

Print Print

The province of Shandong has been promoting its coordinated regional development by facilitating the development of larger city clusters in the area, according to local officials.

The province has launched guidelines for the creation of an urban agglomeration on the Shandong Peninsula, as well as foster Qingdao and Jinan as "national center cities" and cultivate three economic circles.

The provincial capital economic circle includes the provincial capital Jinan and six neighboring cities – Zibo, Tai'an, Liaocheng, Dezhou, Binzhou and Dongying. The Jiaodong Economic Circle involves Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, Weifang and Rizhao, while the southern Shandong economic circle includes Linyi, Zaozhuang, Jining and Heze.

"The overall strength of the Shandong urban agglomeration is relatively strong, but neither of the cities was very strong on their urban primacy ratio or in boosting regional economic development," said Dong Yanling, dean of the Research Institute of Regional Economy at the Shandong University of Finance and Economics.


The Jinan-Tai'an Expressway opens to the public on Oct 28, shortening the travel time between Jinan and Tai'an to just half an hour. [Photo/]

Shandong province has taken measures to boost the urban development of Jinan and Qingdao.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), Laiwu, originally a prefecture-level city in Shandong, was revoked and became a district of Jinan in 2019, while Jimo, once a county-level administered by Qingdao, was revoked and became a district of Qingdao in 2017. Officials said these measures helped to further expand the development of the two cities.

Shandong has also made great efforts to cultivate new small and medium-sized cities and issued plans for development of small towns, so as to promote the high-quality development of the county economy.

According to official statistics, in 2019, there were eight counties in Shandong with a GDP exceeding 100 billion yuan ($15.21 billion) and 40 with a GDP of more than 50 billion yuan, one and three more, respectively, than in 2015. 

In 2019 there were 10 counties with a general public annual budget revenue of over 10 billion yuan and 32 counties with a general public annual budget revenue over 5 billion yuan, both five more than in 2015.

The province has also been ramping up its efforts to promote people-centered new urbanization and increase people's quality of life and incomes.

Last year, there were more than 100 million permanent residents in Shandong, with urbanization rate reaching 61.51 percent, 4.5 percentage points higher than in 2015. The per capita disposable income of rural residents in 2019 was 17,775 yuan, an annual increase of 9.1 percent.