The Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center. [China Daily]
The costal city of Xiamen in Fujian province continues the reform and opening up it began three decades ago, raising its overseas-oriented economy to new levels by exploring additional markets and sources, both overseas and at home.
Foreign capital played a key role in the economic growth of the famed open city along the coast. To date it has attracted 8,234 overseas-funded businesses that brought deals worth $30.2 billion in contracted overseas funds and $18.8 billion now in actual use.
Among them, 76 projects were funded by 43 of the world's top 500 multinational corporations, including Kodak, Dell, GM, Boeing, Panasonic, NEC, Toshiba and ABB.
In 2007 the city recorded $39.7 billion in imports and exports. From 1981 to the end of 2007, the city's aggregate export-import trade totaled $237.3 billion, an average growth of 24.6 percent per year.
Overseas-funded enterprises took the lion's share, with their gross industrial product accounting for 78.7 percent of the city's total. Their exports and imports comprised 60 percent of the total, while their hi-tech products were 76 percent of the city's total.
With over 5-million-TEU containers handled in 2008, Xiamen is one of the world's top 20 ports. Its airport received 9.25 million passengers in 2007.
The city has close trade and economic relations with some 200 countries and regions. There are more than 900 overseas agencies in the city, including consulates, institutions and representative offices of overseas businesses.
The contribution of overseas-funded enterprises has been termed "345678" by the city - overseas-funded businesses contribute 30 percent of Xiamen's total fixed asset investment, 40 percent of its tax revenue, 50 percent of the employment, 60 percent of foreign trade, 70 percent of the city's economic growth and 80 percent of its gross industrial product.
Today Xiamen is a vibrant, internationally known port with 12 overseas sister cities. It regularly hosts the China International Fair for Investment & Trade, an international marathon race, a world chorus contest and some other events.
Tourists and locals throng the beaches at Xiamen. [China Daily]