(TibetanReview.net, May05, 2018) – After being made a city, the erstwhile prefecture of Shigatse in the Tibet autonomous region has announced multimillion yuan subsidies to attract businesses and industries and expects to accommodate up to 120,000 residents, obviously from China, in a new urban zone, according to China’s official China Daily newspaper May 3.
China expects the subsidies to be availed by and the new residents to come from the mainland. The report cited Sang Baichuan, an economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, as saying the focus of the national Tibet assistance programme was gradually shifting to “forming blood” rather than “getting blood transfusions”, which he has said was evidenced by the economic development zone.
He was quoted as saying, “Compared with lending money to the underdeveloped region in the very beginning, Shanghai now cultivates clusters of industries in Shigatse, which helps boost local economic development in a sustainable way.”
The report said subsidies up to 20 million yuan ($3.14 million) will be granted to industrial or business projects that can work within the Shigatse Economic Development Zone, such as high-technology industry and modern logistics services. It added that those designated by the region’s government or central government as key projects could receive as much as 30 million yuan.
In addition, enterprises will receive rewards for seeking financing through stock market initial public offerings, with the sum ranging from 1.5 million yuan to 7 million yuan.
The report said the decision to provide the subsidies was disclosed late last month at a news conference held by the Shigatse city government in Shanghai －which has been paired with the Tibetan city since 1994 in a nationwide assistance programme to boost development in Tibet.
The report noted that more than 400 top workers from Shanghai －including government officials and professionals in different areas －had been sent to Tibet in eight groupings.
The upcoming zone is five kilometres south of the urban area of Shigatse. The city was set up in 2014, bordering Nepal, Bhutan and India.
The 36.3 sq km zone was stated to be composed of two major functional zones －divided by the Jiaqu River, which flows across Shigatse －and will hold as many as 120,000 residents.
The report explained that to the east of the river was the new city area, where the city government will be seated, along with schools, sports facilities, business and residential areas. And the West of the river was stated to be designated as the industrial area, equipped with logistics services and other support facilities.
The industries to be incorporated in the zone were stated to include logistics services, organic farming, drinking water industry, handicrafts, financial services and trade exhibitions.
The report said that by the end of next year, the zone’s output value would hit 350 million yuan, accounting for up to 10 percent of that of Shigatse.