Focus on Henan’s Economy: Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area 3

Upgrade of Industry: High-tech is the keystone

Agriculture has traditionally been a pillar of Henan’s economy, earning its reputation as the nation’s breadbasket. Therefore, food production and processing has been the core of province’s secondary industry. Besides, an abundance of natural resources have driven the province’s mining industry. The annual output of unsorted coal in Henan province amounts to more than 145 million tons a year, with a total value of more than 60 billion RMB (US$ 9.43 billion), according to a report on China Daily. Before 2000, the relatively separate development of different cities in Henan province gave rise to mutually independent mining and processing companies, almost all of which huddled at the upstream of industrial chain.

The development of Zhengzhou metropolitan area and its transportation networks have opened up the long-standing barriers to industry development in Henan province. Companies were able to have frequent communications with each other and began to reevaluate their advantages on a broader national and even international platform. The government has been trying to add value to the whole industry by making up the downstream part of the industry chain. The keystone is the development of high-tech industry. In the past 10 years, the government has issued many preferential policies for foreign high-tech companies and many national-level development zones have been cultivated in Zhengzhou to offer an agreeable environment for high-tech research. Top-level universities were transferred to development zone and provided high-tech industry with a smooth talent support system. Furthermore, those development zones have convenient transportation system. Most of them are situated beside expressway outlet and the subway connecting those zones to the city center is under construction.

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, the processing and mining industry in Henan has been stymied to a certain extent due to the soaring cost of energy and decreasing demand for export. It is quite clear that in the foreseeable future, promotion of high-tech industry and restructuring of the industry system still constitute the emphasis of economic development in Henan.