“China’s Aerotropolis— Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone” brand was officially launched on the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ) Talent Recruitment Conference in the afternoon of October 26th. Leaders attended the launching ceremony include GAO Tinjian, Vice Chairman of Henan Provincial Political Consultative Conference, WANG Pijun, Party Secretary, Secretary General of Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA), BI Zhengyi, Commissioner of the Organization Committee of Henan Provincial Party Committee, ZHANG Honglin, Deputy Director of United Front Work Department of Henan Provincial Party Committee, MA Jian, Member of the Standing Committee of Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee, Party Secretary of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ), YANG Fuping, Member of the Standing Committee of Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee, Director of United Front Work Department of Zhengzhou Provincial Party Committee, ZHANG Junfeng, Director of the Administrative Committee of the ZAEZ.
In order to open up to the outside world, Henan had to get rid of the bottleneck which is that Henan is an inland province, neither on the boundary nor along the seashore. The strategic decision is establishing the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone. The ZAEZ was officially approved by the State Council on March 7, 2013, which made the ZAEZ upgrading into a national strategy from provincial strategy and step on the fast track of development. Under the leadership and support of the Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government of Henan, and the Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government of Zhengzhou, the ZAEZ carried out a series of innovative measures and made great achieve results. Dr. Kasarda, Founder of the Aerotropolis Theory, Chief Advisor of the ZAEZ, President of Aerotropolis Institute China (A.I.C.) has been giving guidance since its establishment. He witnessed the implementation of his “Aerotropolis Model” and considered that the ZAEZ is practising and enriching his theory and has become “China’s Aerotropolis”.
As the first and only airport economy pilot project approved by the State Council, the ZAEZ is the pioneer and leader in developing airport economy. It has development an international transportation hub with an airline network covering Europe, America and Asia, a truck-flight network covering 70+ cities in China, and a crisscrossed high-speed rail network. Moreover, the ZAEZ now owns the most comprehensive port system in Inland China, and has become the opening-up portal of Inland China. In 2018, the cargo throughput of Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO) totaled 515,000 tons. The total volume of imported/exported goods reached 329,200 tons, 60% of which were contributed by countries and regions along “the Belt and Road”. Driven by the ZAEZ, Henan Province ranked Top 10 in China and Top 1 in Central China in terms of the total foreign trade value. The ZAEZ explored an opening-up route and set an example for the inland regions. In this process, it has accumulated rich experience in multiple perspectives, such as strategic development path, industrial development, port system development and institutional innovation. “Zhengzhou Model” and “Zhengzhou Experience” in developing airport economy and Aerotropolis is worth learning by other regions.
Suggested by Dr. Kasarda, the ZAEZ made the decision to brand itself as “China’s Aerotropolis” and launched the branding program. This brand is of great significance to the ZAEZ. It can help the ZAEZ gain international recognition and will become a namecard of this land, of Zhengzhou and Henan at large.
A.I.C, with Dr. Kasarda as the President, is now in charge of the branding program. According to Dr. Kasarda, this is a systematic program which will consolidate the position of the ZAEZ as “China’s Aerotropolis” in the globe and become a member of the world Aerotropolis alliance together with Memphis, Paris and Amsterdam.