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More choose to return to work, live in Sichuan

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-02 11:06

"After the world financial crisis of 2008, coastal provinces faced a dwindling number of orders from overseas.

"As a result, many rural migrant workers are returning to Sichuan," he said.

One of the counties worst-affected over the years, in terms of numbers leaving to work away, was Jintang in the eastern part of Chengdu, with around 180,000 people from there choosing to work outside the province, many of them in Guangdong province.

In 1998, Wang Hongqiong, then 17, became one of the first migrant workers from the county to head for Guangdong.

Together with another 48 women from Jintang, Wang arrived in Dongguan and started work in a leather plant, where she was paid more in a month than she did in a year back home.

But like many manufacturing companies in China, orders dropped in the wake of the financial crisis, and she returned to her home village of Yongfeng in 2008 to start a garment plant.

"Many former co-workers have returned since, all lathe operators in shoe and garment plants," said Wang, whose plant has now employed some of her previous co-workers.

Thanks to its abundant resources, and relatively lower production costs, Sichuan has attracted many investors from coastal provinces to set up manufacturing bases in recent years.

In 2008, 142 of the world's Fortune 500 companies were represented in Sichuan. Now there are 247 invested there.

Over the past five years, Sichuan has seen 2.7 trillion yuan in investment from other parts of the country and more than $36 billion in foreign investment.

In Chengdu, the provincial capital, an average of 537 domestic and foreign companies, private businesses and agricultural professional cooperatives were registered every workday in 2012, according to Xue Min, the deputy chief of the city's bureau of industry and commerce.

"Their daily average investment was 610 million yuan on each work day last year," Xue said.

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