On the eastern coast of Xiamen, a cluster of tall buildings in Siming district shine with the logos of service companies.
It's not a coincidence, but the result of ongoing economic restructuring. Siming now has 119 buildings that house major enterprises and companies working in services ranging from auditing and shipping to legal services.
"After analyzing Siming's advantages, we chose to focus on high-end commerce, high-tech companies and distinctive industries," said You Wenchang, Party secretary of Siming. "Now the service sector accounts for more than 80 percent of our GDP."
Other districts in Xiamen are also exploring ways to make themselves distinctive in the latest round of the city's industrial transformation.
The city government's "Beautiful Xiamen" master plan released on Sept 8 said Xiamen has entered a post-industrialized era that spells the decline of conventional industries.
As rising production and labor costs pose great challenges for manufactures, experts said businesses should quickly adapt to the changing global economy by shifting from conventional industries to high-end services and emerging industries
"We will build industry clusters for flat panel displays, new materials, tourism, exhibitions, conferences, logistics, the ocean industry, software, information services and creative culture," said officials from Xiamen Development and Reform Commission.
"We will also promote distinctive industries as well as find other potential sources of economic growth such as automobile production, aviation, biomedicine, finance, high-end medical care and a headquarters economy."
Officials said Xiamen will soon release lists of both long-term and short-term projects.
Other districts are also exploring their own way to adjust their economies.
Famous for its biomedicine industry, Haicang district is planning to be part of the advanced manufacturing base on the west bank across the Straits.
Haicang is building a biomedicine industry zone of up to 10 million square meters and investing 400 million yuan ($65.6 million) to recruit talent. The zone is expected to be completed in five years.
Jimei district aims at becoming a modern center for IT services, business and trade, logistics, tourism, entertainment and culture. It also plans to develop other potential in real estate, financial services and community service.
Huli district has 10 projects to help forge the Xiamen Cross-Straits Financial Center, while Xiang'an district plans to become an industry cluster for optoelectronics.
"The key point of industrial upgrading is advanced technology, and the government should have policies to support that," said Wang Baohong, deputy-general manager of Xiamen Xindeco Optoelectronics Co.
"Take the LED industry as an example - Xiamen has many leading companies in every sector of the whole industry chain, but we all admit that the level of the industrial cluster is relatively low," said Wang.
"I think we can solve the problem by supporting more leading companies to develop more core technologies because that is the key point of the whole game."
The city's long history as a port and gateway has left a legacy enhanced by modern infrastructure. Provided to China Daily
(China Daily 10/10/2013 page6)