Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bulacan to replicate Shenzhen model for development

MALOLOS CITY– Despite strained diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines, Bulacan is looking to replicate the industrial development of Shenzhen province in southern China.

As this developed, the provincial government of Bulacan is preparing the Provincial Physical Framework Plan (PPFP) for presentation on March 1 to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., who hails from Pulilan town.

Ochoa, according to Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado is one of the brains behind the plan to replicate the Shenzhen model, a brainchild of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.

“We will meet with investors in Bulacan so that we can coordinate development projects and update our Physical Framework Plan,” said Alvarado.

Initially, the governor said that the PPFP has identified growth areas in the province which can be developed into business districts.

These include growth areas in the cities of Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte, along with those in the towns of Pulilan, Plaridel, Baliwag, and San Rafael.

Alvarado said that agriculture areas of San Miguel, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and the mountain town of Donya Remedios Trinidad will be impacted by past paced development in the province.

However, he noted that development will be inclusive of all other towns.

He said that they are now conducting inventory of local industries in Bulacan like the pyrotechnics industry in Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Baliwag and San Rafael along with jewelry-making in the City of Meycauayan and aquaculture in the coastal towns of Hagonoy, Paombong, Malolos, Bulakan and Obando.

“This will be an inclusive growth, hindi lang pagpapaganda ng kalsada at mga polisiya, kasama rin sa direct promotion ang production component ng mga industriyang nagbibigay ng development sa Bulacan,” Alvarado said.

With regards to the Shenzhen model, he said that it has not been finalized yet, but they are looking forward to replicating its industrialization and modernization experience.

Based on documents obtained by Punto, Shenzhen is one of the most successful economic zones in the world and the only city which developed at an unprecedented rate.

Records showed that Shenzhen is just a small fishing village with hilly and fertile agrarian land, and with population of only 30,000 when it was established as an special economic zone in 1979.

Today, Shenzhen is a sprawling and high technology manufacturing and service city with over 14.5 million population as of 2012.

Located north of Hongkong, Shenzhen’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was $14,615 in 2010 and is expected to rank 11th in the world in terms of GDP per capita by 2025.

Records also showed that Shenzhen now has more than 6,000 design companies with more than 60,000 employees.

According to Alvarado, Bulacan shares a lot of similarities with Shenzhen as far as location and topography is concerned.

Like Shenzhen, Alvarado said Bulacan also has a hilly and fertile agrarian area, coastal area and it is located just north of Metro Manila.

He said that fast paced development in Bulacan must be carefully planned to ensure balance and protection of ecology.

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