Shanxi gains investment by reaching out
Provincial delegations visited cities' officials and diplomats ahead of Expo Central China.
Yang Chunquan, chief of the Shanxi Investment Promotion Bureau, meets with Glenn Penaranda, commercial counselor at the Philippine embassy in Beijing on April 16. WANG PEI/FOR CHINA DAILY
Ahead of the 12th Expo Central China on May 21 in Taiyuan, the Shanxi Investment Promotion Bureau dispatched delegations to provinces, cities and foreign diplomatic missions in China to invite potential participants and partners.
Expo Central China is a major investment and trade event held every two years in one of the six provinces in Central China: Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan.
Shanxi's capital city, Taiyuan, hosted the sixth event in September 2011.
In April, Yang Chunquan, chief of the SIPB, headed a delegation to Shanghai.
There, while introducing Shanxi's major investment opportunities, the official said Shanxi expects to learn from Shanghai in hosting international investment and trade shows, such as the China International Import Expo.
Another Shanxi delegation held talks with officials of the Hainan International Economic Development Bureau. Delegates said they want to learn from Hainan's experience in opening-up, especially its initiatives in developing an international free port economy and an international tourism destination.
On April 16, Yang led a delegation to visit the embassy of the Philippines in Beijing. He introduced Shanxi's 14 strategic emerging industries, 10 industrial clusters in agriculture and Shanxi's major tourist attractions along the Yellow River – the Great Wall and the Taihang Mountains – to the embassy’s commercial and agricultural officials.
The Philippine officials said they are satisfied with the trade and investment status in Shanxi and expect to enhance cooperation in the fields of agricultural product trade, information technology, new energy vehicles and healthcare.
The following day, the Shanxi delegation visited the Singaporean embassy in Beijing. Yang told officials there that Shanxi is implementing an economic upgrade. It is transforming from its reliance on coal-mining and cultivating emerging and high-tech industries, which is driving high-quality development.
The official said the transformation offers huge opportunities to Singaporean investors because their technologies and capital are sought-after in Shanxi. Also, Shanxi's easy access to huge markets in the northern, central and northwestern parts of China can bring benefits to investors.
As a result of the promotional efforts by local officials, more business representatives from home and abroad have visited Shanxi to seek cooperative opportunities.
On April 19, for instance, Huang Yaohe, a Chinese partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, visited Shanxi on behalf of the company. During his talks with officials at the SIPB, Huang said PwC wants to cooperate with businesses in the province.
Shanxi's officials see trade shows at home and abroad as major channels for investment and trade promotion.
In 2020, major trade shows that Shanxi's business delegations took part in included a business matchmaking fair held in Beijing in January. It consisted of enterprises from Shanxi, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. There, Shanxi's companies signed agreements for 27 investment projects with an agreed investment value totaling 91.3 billion yuan ($14.1 million).
Shanxi also sent a business delegation to attend the Smart Energy Japan show held in Tokyo in December. At this famed new energy show, Shanxi's companies displayed the latest developments in sectors including hydrogen energy and automotive fuel cells. Intentions for cooperation were reached between Shanxi and Japanese companies.
The province hosted the 2020 China (Taiyuan) International Energy Industry Expo back in October. A total of 137 overseas businesses from more than 40 countries and regions and 257 domestic companies displayed their technologies and solutions.
According to the SIPB, Shanxi's companies signed agreements on 3,124 investment projects in 2020, attracting 1.97 trillion yuan in total pledged investment. The amount represented a 64 percent increase from the planned investment value of 1.2 trillion yuan for that year.
More than 2,600 investment projects began construction last year, with a total planned investment of 760 billion yuan. These included 2,546 projects that were agreed in 2020.
To make Shanxi's investment opportunities better known to domestic and foreign investors, the SIPB recently issued a "road map for guiding investment in its 14 strategic emerging industries". It includes information on 300 major investment projects and related projects in the industrial chains of 14 industries.
Wang Shuang contributed to this story.
By YUAN SHENGGAO