The Shenzhen province – which is already designated a ‘special enterprise zone’ by central government – has 170 bicycle and associated P&A manufacturers, employing between them 10 000 people.
The new power-house zones will group firms together. Industries to be transformed include fashion, furniture, and dies and moulds industries, as well as cycle factories.
The move is an attempt to stem the flow of jobs – and factories – to lower-wage areas of China and is the initiative of the Shenzhen Industrial and Economic Federation.
Federation vice-chairman Wang Zhaowen said: "Half of the total area will be used as manufacturing sites. Others will be used for construction of living and recreation areas, an R&D centre, an inspection centre, a logistics centre and a trading centre."
The aim is to complete the project by 2007 with the first factories in by the end of next year.
"We hope the output of the bicycle manufacturing centre may grow 10 percent every year,” Zhaowen told The Standard newspaper.
The SIE Federation, the district government and about 20 bicycle manufacturers have signed a letter of intent on business co-operation. Up to 60 bicycle makers eventually plan to move into the zone, which could produce eight million bicycles over the next three years.
China produced 78 million bicycles last year, of which 47 million were exported, generating US$2 billion.
According to The Standard newspaper, the Pearl River Delta region has more than 500 bicycle makers, accounting for 90 percent of the country’s total. Shenzhen produces more than 10 million bikes a year, equivalent to 2.4 percent of the city’s GDP.