The China-Laos Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone (hereinafter referred to as the "Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone") is situated in the southernmost region of Yunnan Province. It serves as a crucial node for the China-Laos Railway, the Kunming-Bangkok International Corridor, and the Laos North-South Highway. Additionally, it serves as a significant juncture for economic and trade exchanges as well as economic cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. The zone integrates functions of international passenger transportation, cargo distribution, and a transit hub.
In May 2022, the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee and provincial government made a significant decision and plan for Kunming City and Xishuangbanna Prefecture to jointly construct Mohan International Port City. Additionally, Kunming City will fully host Mohan Town of Mengla County in Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Consequently, the development of the Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone has entered a new phase of rapid growth.
In December 2023, the temperature in Mohan remains warm, and construction activities are in full swing. Tower cranes are everywhere, the project site machinery is roaring, iron arms are waving, and trucks transporting materials are going back and forth. Builders sweat on this hot land and continue to raise the bar for "Kunming quality" and "Kunming speed."
"After coming here, I found that the slogans of 'world vision,' 'international standards,' 'Chinese characteristics,' and 'high-point positioning' are not just empty words," said Yang Jie, deputy director of the Park City Construction Administration Bureau of the Economic Cooperation Zone Management Committee. He explained that Mohan International Port City must first reflect the forward-looking and leading concept of new planning and construction. We must fully implement the requirements of the new development concept, build a new development pattern, and promote high-quality development. We strive to create a benchmark for high-quality development in the new era.
Since its establishment, Kunming City has adhered to the principle of "clearly planning every inch of land before commencing construction."Top domestic teams, including China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University, Urban Planning and Design Institute of Tsinghua University, China Urban Development Planning and Design Consulting Co., Ltd., and others, have participated in the conceptual planning. With an international perspective and taking into account Mohan's location advantages, regional, and cultural characteristics, Kunming has considered the overall scope of Mohan Town's 803 square kilometers. It has solicited the overall development concept plan for Mohan International Port City from across the country and carried out territorial spatial planning, control detailed planning, industrial development planning, and various special plans.
In line with the requirements of planning first and building a modern international port city, the planning technical team has reconstructed the layout of Mohan's industrial development, land space, and comprehensive transportation. It has initially formed a spatial layout of "one heart, one core, three axes, and five districts," aiming to create a national benchmark and demonstration of the "trinity" of high-quality development in terms of port function, port economy, and port city. At the same time, Kunming has issued a catalogue of encouraged industries, clarifying the direction of key industries such as modern logistics, cross-border processing and manufacturing, cross-border finance, and cross-border e-commerce. It is focusing on promoting the transformation of the "channel economy" to the "port economy."
The spatial layout and development plans for the entire city of Mohan International Port City indeed emphasize a "sense of the future." To achieve this, the city has set forth a "two-step" construction goal, targeting the years 2025 and 2035.
With a world vision, international standards, and Chinese characteristics at its core, the high-level positioning of Mohan is reflected in its comprehensive planning. Following the completion of the Mohan "plan," the pace of construction and development has accelerated significantly.
Remarkably, it took only three months to successfully complete the hosting and transfer work, and another month to enhance the organization and select the most suitable cadres. This efficient progress has led to the operationalization of key facilities such as the Talent Service Center and the New Border Civilian Mutual Market at the Mohan Port. Additionally, the Government Affairs Service Center has been completed and is now functional, while the main construction of the first-line cross-border transportation center and the second-line cross-border comprehensive service center within the surrounding network area has also been finalized.
Furthermore, key projects like the renovation and expansion of Asean Avenue, the main road in Mohan, have been expedited. In 2023, a total of 85 projects were planned for implementation, involving a total investment of 22.243 billion yuan. Currently, 72 projects have already been initiated, with a total investment of 13.609 billion yuan and an impressive operating rate of 84.7%.
In the Nanpo area, 2,926 acres of land expropriation and demolition work have been completed, paving the way for the construction of land fields, roads, and other vital infrastructure. Since the beginning of 2023, the city has gone out to promote investment 13 times, successfully engaging with over 40 enterprises and signing 13 investment agreements worth a total of approximately 6.7 billion yuan. These achievements demonstrate the city's commitment to realizing its ambitious development goals.
Edited and Translated by Zhao Shengbo