The 2021 Third Virtual Consulting Meeting of Dr. John Kasarda, the Chief Advisor to Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ), President of Aerotropolis Institute China (AIC), was held on December 13th at AIC office. Relevant colleagues from ZAEZ’s Economic Development Bureau (EDB) and AIC attended the meeting.
On the meeting, EDB and Dr. Kasarda made in-depth discussions on how to deepen opening-up of the ZAEZ and how to enhance the contribution of air transport to the local economic growth of the ZAEZ.
Dr. Kasarda emphasized the importance of the ZAEZ becoming a leader among China’s airport economy zones by opening up faster and further than others, and provided nine suggestions, including developing bilateral agreements on air route development and incentives, branding the ZAEZ internationally as “China’s Aerotropolis”, harmonizing with international organization’s rules and protocols, etc. Dr. Kasarda then summarized the four keys to opening-up: namely international airline and air route development, aviation-oriented industry cluster development, Chinese and foreign talent attraction, and harmonizing with international organization practices. On how to better leverage air logistics to contribute more to the local economy, besides giving targeted suggestions, Dr. Kasarda emphasized that the ZAEZ, is the first and only airport economy zone in China approved by the State Council, positioned to be an international air logistics hub, an important platform for the inland area opening up to the world, the core growth pole of the Central Plains, and a modern Aerotropolis. It means that the ZAEZ’s true value cannot be measured by its local economy growth, but by its driving effect to the region and the country at large in terms of industrial and economic development and transformation.