Via China Daily

A giant ferris wheel, with the nickname “Tianjin Eye”, is 110 meters in diameter and equipped with 48 capsules, which locates in Tianjin on Dec 30, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tianjin has accelerated its opening-up efforts despite the COVID-19 pandemic by launching more projects with investments worth 90.4 billion yuan ($12.8 billion) in the North China city, according to agreements signed between the local government and investors on Wednesday.

“The investors’ moves indicate their confidence in containing the ongoing outbreak and in the prospects of their business in the city,” Tianjin Vice-Mayor Jin Xiangjun said at a signing event held online.

The local government said domestic investment for 88 projects hit 75.1 billion yuan, while overseas investment in 28 projects was worth $2.16 billion.

The new projects range from intelligent manufacturing technologies, pharmaceuticals, new energy, materials and finance.

The regional clusters which include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and the Pearl River Delta are major sources of investment.

Overseas companies from 12 countries and regions including the United States, Britain and the Netherlands have announced moves to expand their presence in Tianjin.

“Since the outbreak in late January, the city has been strengthening efforts in containing the outbreak while offering help to local firms in resumption of production,” Jin said.

Since early February, the city has released 21 policies to help local companies recover from the shock of the outbreak and another 27 measures to help in issues of fundraising, employee recruitment, gaining business approvals, cost reduction and research and development.”

The Tianjin government said it reduced taxes by up to 16.3 billion yuan for local companies during the epidemic. To date, more than 90 percent of local companies and 100 percent of its top 300 foreign companies have resumed operations in the city.

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Ramon Jose Blanch Subirats, general manager of Emedep China, announced the company would invest $6.5 million in Tianjin to expand its presence in the country. The firm is a Spanish auto testing machinery supplier with a worldwide industrial supply chain.

“Our business in China was so successful that we thought it necessary to build another factory to expand the production capacity in the country,” he said, adding the company was supported by the local government during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Xu Dexiang, general manager of China Unicom Vision Technology, a company engaged in 5G online video live broadcast and in virtual reality, said the company would invest 100 million yuan to set up a regional center in the city.

“The company is expected to generate an industrial value of up to 10 billion yuan annually in the next few years,” Xu said.

The vice-mayor said Tianjin has charted plans to build itself into a national high-tech hub so that “by 2024, the city is expected to become a source of national-level self-innovation”.