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Ningbo: A Regional City Leapfrog Into Hi-Tech Development


  • Sigurdson, Jon

    () (European Institute of Japanese Studies)


The dynamic development in Ningbo illustrates local changes that have their basis in government support and resources from all levels of government. The rapid development arises from a combination of excellent infrastructure, a strong private entrepreneurship and strong foreign direct Investment (FDI) to exploit the geographical location which will be further enhanced when the bridge, across Hangzhou Bay to Shanghai, is completed by 2008.Ningbo, a famous port city in China, reached in 2000 a population of six million. It is situated 100 kilometres from Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, and 150 kilometres across the water from Shanghai. In terms of geo-economics Ningbo is an integral part of the dynamic Yangtze Delta region; but Ningbo is also trying to develop its own niche based on its comparative advantage. This is an important feature of China’s regional development model. Ningbo is the native place of Ningbo Bird, the forerunner in China’s, as well as a strong contender in the global, mobile handset industry. Ningbo has traditionally been a location for car component industries with early development of spark plugs and car wheels. The Geely car company has used Ningbo for its national expansion The Ningbo car components industry is expanding fuelled by support from the mould industry and a number of private supplier entrepreneurs. There are three major moulding industry centres in China. The moulding industry in Ningbo now employs about 100,000 workers. Ningbo does not want to remain only in knowledge application but in knowledge creation too. To this end Ningbo has four national-scale development zones, one hi-tech zone and 10 provincial and municipal level development zones which cater to both shipping and trade sectors; it is widely using incubators to stimulate new technologies. The Ningbo Hi-Tech Park is an important hi-tech zone in the region. jointly developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ningbo Municipal Government, it was opened in July 1999. In March 2004, the Chinese Ministry of Education approved the establishment of Ningbo-Nottingham China's first Sino-foreign university. The new university will be founded jointly by the University of Nottingham of Britain and the Zhejiang Wanli University in Ningbo with an investment of RMB600 million.

Suggested Citation

  • Sigurdson, Jon, 2005. "Ningbo: A Regional City Leapfrog Into Hi-Tech Development," EIJS Working Paper Series 212, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies, revised 30 Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0212

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    More about this item


    Regional innovation system; local universities; industrial parks; incubators; clusters; industrial zones;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • L53 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Enterprise Policy
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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