BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone near Beijing, will play an important role in boosting the economy in the region around the capital, an official told Xinhua.
Xiongan New Area in Hebei Province will not only help with the ongoing drive to transfer "non-capital" functions out of Beijing, but also improve the business environment in Hebei and attract more talent and investment, said Zhang Junkuo, deputy director with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
After the educational, scientific and technological resources currently concentrated in Beijing flow into the region, the investment environment in Hebei will improve substantially, said Zhang, who is also a member of the expert committee advising the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (Jing-Jin-Ji).
High standard must be present across the whole Xiongan New Area project, and more support policies are needed to better integrate the capital with its surrounding areas.
China announced plans to create Xiongan New Area on Saturday, which authorities described as a "major historic and strategic choice" that would be "crucial for the millennium to come."
The new area, some 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, is designed to advance coordinated development in the Jing-Jin-Ji region and cure "urban ills" such as traffic congestion and air pollution in the capital.
The three counties that the new area covers reported a combined GDP of about 20 billion yuan (2.94 billion U.S. dollars) last year, less than 1 percent of Beijing's economic output.
The new area will create a favorable environment for innovation and attract innovative talent and teams to benefit the industrial upgrade in Hebei Province and its innovative development, said Zhang.
Meanwhile, the new area will also promote the ecological protection of the surrounding area and improve people's well-being, Zhang said.