Policy impact

Since 2010, some Chinese cities and provinces (Liaoning, Yunnan, Guangxi, etc.) have launched regional development funds or management models based on the European experiences. NDRC has given to these pilot funds a blueprint character for a nation-wide development fund reform.

Chinese policy makers are particularly interested in learning from the EU in “the overall arrangement, centralised distribution and project-oriented allocation of financial resources” (NDRC 2012). Moreover, they are starting to establish a coordinated and unified system of planning and counterpart funding arrangements to avoid the situation that regional planning and funding distribution are separate. In order to promote cooperation between China and the EU in regional and urban policy, NDRC delegates have suggested to set-up a China-EU regional cooperation fund to guide and support joint regional development projects in China and the EU.

NDRC officials from all China have started to pay more attention to inter-provincial regional planning. In addition, excessive competition between urban space and low-level redundant construction can be managed more effectively based on the European experiences. Inspired on the European model, Chinese policy makers also started to divide regions into different areas according to more detailed features of regional economic and social development.  NDRC officials developed more detailed regional plans, including planning for neighbouring poor areas, resource-exhausted cities, major rural producing areas and important ecological functional areas.

CETREGIO also achieved concrete cooperation between Chinese and European regions. For instance, during the Chinese NDRC visit to Europe in November 2012, a representative from Sanming, a city in Fujian province, signed a collaboration agreement with his counterpart from Vitoria-Gasteiz, EU’s Green Capital 2012. The two sides agreed to cooperate in urban sustainable development. Later, from Dec.17th to 19th 2012, two officials from Vitoria visited Sanming city. They inspected sustainable development situation in Sanming and proposed policy and economic cooperation.

In addition, during 2012, delegates learned that Slovakia and France (Moselle) are building new industrial parks especially designed to attract investment from Chinese enterprises. Chinese delegates have communicated this information within the Chinese government in order to support bilateral economic cooperation.

In November 2013, a multilateral agreement was signed between several European regions and the City of Tianjin in order to start pilot cooperation projects. Tianjin, one of China’s most developed cities, has shown a strong commitment to become one of three Chinese pilot cities and regions for cooperation within the EU-China Regional Policy Dialogue.

To learn more details about the Chinese experiences in Europe, please refer to DG REGIO’s Website