While the eyes of all places are still focused on the competition of “100 billion counties”, “100 billion towns” have quietly arrived.
After the release of local economic data in 2022, the GDP of Beijiao (jiào) Town in Foshan, Guangdong has successfully exceeded 100 billion, making it one of the “100 billion towns”.
Beijiao Town, according to Shunde City Net
In addition to Beijiao Town, there are currently three towns in China that have successfully entered the ranks of “100 billion towns”, namely Shishan Town, Foshan, Guangdong, Yushan Town, Kunshan, Jiangsu, and Maotai Town, Zunyi, Guizhou.
In 2021, there are only 43 counties across the country that have reached the threshold of 100 billion GDP, and the economic level of “100 billion towns” has surpassed half of the country’s top 100 counties.
In addition, there are still many prefecture-level cities across the country whose GDP does not exceed 100 billion. The economic volume of these four towns even exceeds that of some prefecture-level cities.
What are the four towns of the “Rich Invincible City” based on?
Super strong “industrial base color”
It is worth mentioning that the reason why these four towns can be promoted to “hundred billion towns” is because of their strong “industrial background”.
Taking Beijiao Town as an example, in the past ten years, the GDP of Beijiao Town has increased from 40 billion yuan to over 100 billion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 9%; the industrial output value above the designated size has increased from 160 billion yuan to 490 billion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 9.3% .
The situation in Shishan Town is similar. In 2022, the town’s total industrial output value will exceed 400 billion yuan, and the number of industrial enterprises above the designated size is expected to exceed 1,800.
Ding Li, an economics researcher at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, told China News Weekly that whether it is Beijiao Town, Shishan Town or other economically strong towns in China, its outstanding feature is its high economic density, which is due to the entrepreneurship of the whole people and the concentration of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Another important feature of Shishan Town and Beijiao Town is that leading enterprises have played a key role.” In his view, the promotion of leading projects and the clustering of small and medium-sized enterprises are the most important factors for these two places to become “hundred billion towns”. s reason.
Beijiao Town has cultivated Midea Group and Country Garden Group, two Fortune 500 companies. In terms of home appliance industry, Beijiao Town started as a township enterprise first, and now it has built the largest production base of air conditioners, rice cookers, microwave ovens, electric fans, and water dispensers in the country. In 2021, the output value of the home appliance industry in Beijiao Town will be about 300 billion yuan, accounting for about 10% of the total output value of the country’s home appliance industry.
In addition to the home appliance industry, the robot industry cluster in Beijiao Town has sprung up in recent years. KUKA Robotics controlled by Midea Group and Bozhilin invested by Country Garden Group are the representatives.
The leading project in Shishan Town comes from FAW-Volkswagen.
One of the main production bases of FAW-Volkswagen in the south is located in Hongxing Village, Shishan Township. The production base was settled in 2009 and completed in 2010.
By 2020, FAW-Volkswagen has paid more than 4 billion yuan in local taxes.
As we all know, the automobile industry has a strong driving effect on upstream and downstream industries due to its long supply chain. For example, the FAW-Volkswagen production base in Shishan Town is adjacent to the parts company of Honda Motor. Once the production pattern of complete vehicles plus parts is formed, other parts manufacturers will also gather here.
The situation in Maotai town is similar. In addition to the well-known Maotai liquor, there are actually many wineries in the town, and the winemaking industry is well-developed.
Night scene along the Chishui River in Maotai Town, according to Xinhua News Agency
Zunyi can be regarded as the first core area of Maotai-flavored liquor in the world. Relevant data show that by the end of 2021, Zunyi City has 382 liquor companies with production licenses, of which the number of liquor companies above designated size has reached 108. The regulated liquor companies in Zunyi are mainly concentrated in Maotai Town.
In addition to Maotai, a group of liquor industry echelons have been formed in the local area, including 10 billion-level wine companies, 5 billion-level wine companies, 3 billion-level wine companies, 1 billion-level wine companies, and 500 million-level wine companies.
At the beginning of the reform and opening up, these four places all started from township enterprises, but there are certain differences in the subsequent development paths.
As early as February 2012, Kunshan High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Yushan Town announced the official “district and town integration”.
As a high-tech industrial development zone in Kunshan, Yushan Town has attracted many high-tech industrial companies to settle here. In the latest 2021 National High-tech Zone Comprehensive Evaluation Results released by the Torch Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Kunshan High-tech Zone (Yushan Town) ranked 33rd, an increase of 6 places from the previous year.
“Hundred Billion Town” is expected to expand
Geographical factors are also key factors in the rise of the “hundred billion town”.
In September 2022, the 2021 China Top 100 Towns list released by competitiveness think tanks and other institutions shows that China’s top 100 towns are distributed in 10 provinces across the country, mainly concentrated in the eastern region. Jiangsu has the largest number of top 100 towns, reaching 41, followed by Guangdong with 30, Zhejiang and Shandong with 9 each, Fujian with 4, Hebei and Hunan with 2 each, and Henan, Jiangxi and Guizhou with 1 each. Maotai Town is the only one of the top 100 towns in the western region.
In addition to Maotai Town, Yushan Town, Beijiao Town and Shishan Town are all located in the economically developed Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions, and are not far from first-tier cities.
The complete vehicle and auto parts industry in Shishan Town itself is the result of complementarity with Guangzhou’s industrial structure.
The main production bases of the three major Japanese auto brands Honda, Toyota, and Nissan in my country are all in Guangzhou, and the Nanhai District of Foshan, where Shishan Town is located, is adjacent to Guangzhou.
At present, there are more than 50 complete vehicle and auto parts companies in Shishan Town alone, covering the parts suppliers of the three major automakers, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. In terms of overall layout, the industrial structure of Nanhai Auto Parts and Guangzhou Vehicles has been formed.
In the process of the rise of Yushan Town, Shanghai also plays an indispensable role.
For example, an old news in 2006 on the official website of Kunshan Municipal Government showed that as early as 17 years ago, Yushan Town actively participated in the Southern Investment Promotion Week and participated in large-scale special investment promotion activities such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Europe. In the process of attracting investment, the important advantage of its publicity is its proximity to Shanghai.
As a result of this series of investment promotion activities, in the first half of 2006 alone, Yushan Town registered a new registered foreign capital of 433 million U.S. dollars, and received foreign capital of 145 million U.S. dollars.
In addition to the four “100 billion towns” at present, there are many economically strong towns in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, and their GDP is expected to exceed 100 billion in the near future.
From the perspective of township economic ranking, the current GDP rankings of Chang’an Town and Humen Town in Dongguan, Guangdong are relatively high. The GDP of Chang’an Township will reach 89.518 billion yuan in 2022, and the GDP of Humen Township will be 73.577 billion yuan in 2021, both of which are expected to hit the “hundred billion towns”.
As “the most powerful town in Dongguan”, Chang’an Town also has a title – “the hometown of OPPO and vivo mobile phones”. As the world’s largest production base for electronic information and smartphones, Chang’an Township accounts for one-eighth of the world’s mobile phone shipments, and tens of thousands of mobile phone R&D personnel in the region.
The size of the population cannot be underestimated
The GDP of 100 billion is amazing enough for an administrative unit at the town level.
At the same time, the population of “hundred billion towns” should not be underestimated. For example, the permanent population of Shishan Town reached 953,000 at the time of “Qipu”, and has now exceeded one million.
According to the “Seventh Census” data, the population of 91 counties across the country has exceeded the 1 million mark, while the country has more than 1,300 counties. This means that the population of Shishan Town exceeds that of most counties in the country.
Yushan Town currently has a registered population of about 316,000, a permanent population of about 567,000, and a permanent population density of about 4,805 people per square kilometer, with high mobility and complex population structure.
Then, in the face of a large economic volume and a new population from industrial agglomeration, can the administrative unit at the township level form effective management and provide higher-quality public services?
The exploration of each “hundred billion town” is also different. As early as February 2012, Kunshan High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Yushan Town announced the official “district and town integration”.
By 2016, Kunshan City will officially implement the point-based admission system. Based on the five indicators such as real estate years, professional and technical titles or education levels, insurance coverage years, family planning, and compliance with laws and regulations, those whose total points reach the standard can enjoy the same enrollment as the local registered population. The Kunshan City Education Bureau and all districts and towns will try their best to arrange students to study in private schools.
According to Ding Li, the special feature of Foshan, Dongguan and other Pearl River Delta cities is that although there are district-level administrative settings, the focus of economic development is actually in the town. He said, “Compared to the administrative unit of the street, the town has stronger autonomy in its own economic development, especially in terms of ‘financial power’ and ‘tax power’.”
It is understood that compared with the permanent population of 432,700 in the “Sixth Census” in 2010, the permanent population of Shishan Town has increased by 522,600 in ten years, a growth rate of 120.78%. One of the most important reasons for this is that in 2013, Nanhai carried out a new round of administrative division adjustment: Luocun Street was abolished, its administrative area was merged into Shishan Town, and at the same time, Yanfeng, Henggang, Xingxian under the jurisdiction of Dali Town The neighborhood committees of 5 communities, Tanbian and Gaobian were transferred to the jurisdiction of Shishan Town.
Ding Changfa, an associate professor of economics at Xiamen University, told China News Weekly that whether it is a street or a town, or whether it is upgraded from a “strong town” to a district or county, the real core is to serve the local people, and the most important thing is to do a good job in public services.
“For well-developed ‘100 billion towns’ or ‘100 strong towns’, in the face of a rapidly increasing permanent population, how to provide public services such as education, medical care, and elderly care is the most critical.” Ding Changfa said.