A group of banks have announced that they will provide up to 440 billion yuan ($64.2 billion) in financial support to companies in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA), the highest of its kind in the area's history.
A total of 10 banks, including BOC, ICBC and CCB, signed a strategic partnership with TEDA in the last two weeks, vowing to aid the area's growth in the next five years.
"Their funds will not totally and directly 'pour' into the area. Instead, the banks are extending a combined financial credit limit with a ceiling of 440 billion yuan," Zeng Li, head of the Finance Bureau of TEDA, said.
"When top projects are in place, they will inject the capital to support their growth, especially the industries' continuous upgrading, intelligent manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and help with the growth of the emerging Nangang area, which has revealed an ambitious target to boost the petroleum sector."
Zeng said if there are not enough projects to meet the stringent standards set by the relevant authorities, the bank will not totally "burn the money" within the next five years.
Since TEDA released the news, some 50 companies have signed agreements with the 10 banks, getting support of up to 60 billion yuan, their agreements with the banks showed. The project with the highest investment is a new production line of FAW Toyota with 7.1 billion yuan.
"The banks' move indicated their confidence in the area's solid growth," said Zheng Weiming, director of the administrative committee of TEDA.
Statistics showed that during the first five months, the area saw its industrial output increase by 9.5 percent. A total of 3,828 companies registered there during the period, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, boosting the total number of companies in TEDA to 63,000.
Qi Lei, president of the Beijing Haian Parking Service Co, which was headquartered in Zhongguancun and moved to TEDA earlier this year, said his company has poured up to 200 million yuan into TEDA this year. It is one of the thousands of companies moving from Beijing's industrial cluster to TEDA and the Binhai New Area.
"More investment is in the pipeline," he said.
Zheng, however, is keenly aware of future challenges despite thriving development in TEDA.
"As the oldest development area, how to continue to boost the local economy is always my headache," he said.
TEDA is pinning high hopes on intelligent manufacturing industries, which Zheng believes would be "a new engine" for the real economy.
Liu Zhipeng, a professor at the Economics College of Nankai University, said to boost the intelligent manufacturing industries, the development areas, as well as Tianjin, must develop a much greater industrial cluster.
In a bid to meet the demand in accordance with the "Made in China 2025" strategy, the country must build world leading model industrial zones in intelligent manufacturing.