In a prime location, Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone sits in the north of Shandong Peninsula, the throat of Bohai Economic Circle. It is one of the “Four Areas and Three Parks” of the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone and one of the “Four ports and Four Areas” of the Yellow River Delta Efficient Ecological Economic Zone. Beyond that, the intersection of the coastal industrial development belt and the urban development axis of Weifang City where the Zone is located renders it a major node that connects the Yangtze River Delta with the Beijing-Tianjin region, an outlet of the provincial metropolitan area, a support point of the integration of Jinan-Qingdao economic development, a core area of the whole Weifang coastal development strategy, and a gathering place of bonded ports and marine industrial clusters in Northeast Asia.
The Zone faces Japan and South Korea across the sea and adjoins to Tianjin, with a crisscross transportation network including the Jinan–Qingdao, Rongcheng–Wuhai, and Weifang–Rizhao Expressways reaching to the province outside, and Yidu–Yangkou and Dezhou–Yantai Railways connecting Binhai with China’s rail arteries. The Port of Weifang in the Zone is a national first-class development port and a major regional port. Currently, the project of Liaoning–Shandong Land-Sea Cargo Ro-Ro & Drop and Pull Transports has been launched jointly by the Ministry of Transport, Shandong Province and Liaoning Province. Major infrastructure projects such as coastal passages, port railways, and urban light rails are also accelerated to high speed.
The Zone harbors more than 1,000 enterprises and 1,200 industrial products of which 14 kinds, such as soda ash and bromide, are top of its kind in productivity in China and even in the world, and crude salt and bromine account for 1/5 and 1/2 of China’s total output respectively. The Huangdao–Weifang crude oil pipeline from Qingdao to Binhai which has been completed and brought into service can carry 15 million tons of oil annually. 100 key enterprises such as Haihua Group, Weichai Heavy Machinery, Rainchst Automobile, Haiwang Chemical, and Xinhecheng Pharmaceutical in the Zone so far have been put into production and create profits. 1,000 major projects, including the integration of salinization and oilation, new energy vehicles, robots, high-end yachts, middle-speed engines, and port construction, are under construction. For the next step, emphasis will be placed on making breakthroughs in constructing seven function areas in the Zone, including the Port Economic Zone, the Ocean Science and Technology University Park, the Marine Power-driven Machinery Equipment Industrial Park, the Green Chemical Industrial Park, the Sino-foreign Industrial Park, the Tourism and Resort Area, and the Central Business District, in a bid to accelerate the formation of a trillion-yuan-level high-end blue industrial system.
Taking the opportunity to create a national 4A Happy Sea Tourism Resort, the Zone focuses on building itself into the one based on coastal tourism and supported by the main urban axis along the Bailang River. It gives priority to the development of featured tourism industries such as gold shoreline, maritime tourism, and fishing and salt culture, and accelerates cultural tourism to build a comprehensive new business model of “Great Tourism + Grand Festival + Big Sports”. With the expectation of building an international marine tourism resort that links the city cluster and serves the provincial capital, the Zone has issued preferential measures such as Measures for Accelerating the Popularity Gathering in City Proper, through which it has put into use 12 projects including the Future Building, Financial Center, and Zhumeng Square. In addition, in the hope of being an 80-km2 core area of the modern marine city, the Zone is racing to develop 33 urban construction projects, such as Huayi Brothers Star Theater, Headquarters Base, and Shenzhou Health City.
Festival activities such as the Weifang International Kite Festival, International Equestrian Culture Festival, and the International Sailing Championships have been successfully held in the Zone. The kiteboarding base and the 1,000-mu kite flying field have been finished and opened to the public. The Happy Sea Beach Scenic Area has been recognized as a national 4A tourist scenic spot, and the Binhai area has been included among in the provincial “Fairy Coast” cultural tourism destinations. In May 2018, the “Eye of the Bohai Sea”, the world’s largest spokeless Ferris wheel, was officially opened with an expected total of tourists of 3 million per year.
Thanks to the 69-km coastline, the 200,000-plus-mu shallow beach, and the 100-plus-km2 intensive sea area, the Zone is rich in energy resources such as underground brine, geothermal and wind energy. Among them, the underground brine boasts a static reserve of 6 billion m3, making the Zone the largest production base of crude salt and bromine in China. By leveraging social capital, the Zone vigorously develops the agro-ecological industry and strives to create an eco-agriculture brand with national and provincial features. As a result, a number of ecological demonstration projects have gained ground, for instance, the Yuanshun Agricultural Ecology Demonstration Park, the Mishui Shengjing High-efficiency Ecological Agricultural Demonstration Park, and the Jinhui High-efficiency Ecological Demonstration Park.