Coastal city makes key advances in past decade

RIZHAO, China, Oct. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A report from

Rizhao, a coastal city in Shandong province, has made great strides in its all-around development over the past decade.

Rizhao has seen high-quality economic development during the 2012-21 period, said Zhang Hui, Party secretary of Rizhao. According to Zhang, the city’s GDP raised from 117.12 billion yuan ($16.2 billion) in 2012 to 221.2 billion yuan in 2021, with an average annual growth rate of 7.8 percent.

The marine economy has seen booming development in Rizhao, with its total output value accounting for 30 percent of the city’s GDP in 2021, and it has been approved as a national marine economic development demonstration zone. The cargo throughput of Rizhao Port currently ranks ninth in the world and sixth in the country.

The iron and steel sector has become the city’s first 100-billion-yuan industry, with an output value exceeding 190 billion yuan, said Zhang. Some emerging industries have broken new ground over the past 10 years, including new generation of information technology, life and health, internet services, and aviation.

Over the past decade, Rizhao has shown great success in promoting rural vitalization and urban development, according to Zhang.

A total of 276 urban villages and 484 old residential areas were renovated in Rizhao in the 2012-21 period. The urbanization rate of permanent residents reached 62.1 percent by the end of 2021, and the living environment in rural areas has been significantly improved.

According to Li Zaiwu, mayor of Rizhao, local authorities have spent an integrated investment of 10.6 billion yuan in the development of rural areas since 2019, providing a solid foundation for rural vitalization.

All of the 118,000 registered poor residents in Rizhao were lifted out of poverty during the period. Last year, the per capita disposable income of rural residents shot up to 20,154 yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 9.4 percent in the past 10 years, demonstrating that the rural-urban income gap in the city has narrowed.

Rizhao has maintained spending on residents’ well-being at a level higher than 80 percent of the general public budget, said Zhang, adding that comprehensive progress was also made in the fields of employment, education, medical care and elderly care.