Yuncheng rolls out red carpet for investors
With a batch of well-selected projects, Yuncheng is going to attract investors from both home and abroad at the 2006 Shanxi (Hong Kong) Investment Attraction Fair that opens today in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
"It is the first time that Yuncheng and even Shanxi Province hold an investment promotion fair outside the province," Zhang Maocai, secretary of the Yuncheng Committee of the Communist Party of China, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
Eleven major cities and prefectures of North China's Shanxi Province will showcase their projects for overseas investment at the fair that will last until July 27.
"Governments at various levels have attached great importance to this fair," Zhang said, adding that Yuncheng, which cherishes this great opportunity, has fully prepared for it.
Yuncheng, the southwestern gate of North China's Shanxi Province, is active in implementing the opening-up policy.
According to Zhang, the city has made strides in areas of agricultural processing, aluminium magnesium alloy production, precision casting, fine chemistry, modern logistics, water saving technology, disposal of garbage and sewage, as well as many advances in the cultural and tourism industries.
"And this time, there are more than 100 investment projects, with an emphasis on the service sector, infrastructure, public service, environmental protection, social work, and State-owned enterprise reform," Zhang said.
"We highly value this opportunity," Zhang said, adding that the hinterland city has to open up further, co-operate with developed areas such as Hong Kong, where capital, technologies, and talented human resources are concentrated, and get ready for industries to come in from outside of China.
"I believe the Hong Kong fair will inject new and robust momentum to Yuncheng's growth, which is also our main aim for this business trip."
The secretary said the fair is of great importance in realizing the blueprint Yuncheng has drawn for its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) - to build Yuncheng into a new manufacturing base and a highly efficient ecological agriculture base, as well as an industry, business and tourism hub in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, which consists of Shanxi, Henan and Shaanxi provinces.
Shanxi Province has the largest coal resources in China. "Yuncheng, however, is the only city without an edge in that respect," Zhang said. "But it is not necessarily a trammel for the city's development; on the other hand, Yuncheng has a lot of unique advantages."
Enjoying a convenient and strategic location in the Yellow River Basin, the city at the southwest tip of Shanxi Province has an area of 14,000 square kilometres and a population of 5 million, with two county-level cities, one district, 10 counties and three provincial-level development zones under its jurisdiction.
A bridgehead connecting Central and West China, Yuncheng is 400 kilometres from the province's capital Taiyuan, 200 kilometres from Xi'an and Luoyang respectively, the capital of Shaanxi and a strategic city of Henan.
The city has now set up an improved road, railway and air transportation network. The length of highway passing through the city reached 8,881 kilometres, with a road network density hitting 63.5 kilometres per 100 square kilometres of land.
The length of its expressways also takes the lead in the province, reaching 302 kilometres.
Only 15 minutes drive to the downtown area, Yuncheng Airport has direct flight routes to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
With a mild climate, fertile soil and sufficient sunshine, Yuncheng is known for its agriculture.
For example, the output of wheat and cotton accounts for more than half and 80 per cent of those in Shanxi Province respectively. The fruit plantation area reaches 3 million mu (200,000 hectares).
Yuncheng is rich in mineral and other natural resources. The production capacity of alumina, electrolytic aluminium, and magnesium take up 18, 10 and 50 per cent respectively of the nation's total, while the output of anhydrous sodium sulphate accounts for 60 per cent of the domestic market.
China Aluminium Co Ltd, Asia's biggest alumina manufacturing base, has established an operation in the city. Yuncheng is also home to China's biggest inorganic salt chemistry production base the Nafine Group.
How to fully tap the advantages of Yuncheng is an urgent issue that concerns the government.
"We will create a fine business and residential environment for investors in the hope of not only attracting them to invest but also encouraging them to make their second home here."
Zhang said the city has provided a series of preferential policies for investors.
Besides the advantages in agriculture, manufacturing and commerce, the city also has distinct features in culture and tourism.
"Culture and tourism are the pillar industries in Yuncheng," Zhang said.
According to ancient tales, Yuncheng is a legendary place where the Fenghuang (phoenix), a holy bird in heaven, was born from fire. The city thus acquired the nickname of the "city of Fenghuang."
"The 'city of Fenghuang,' just like the phoenix, will survive all hardships and have a promising future. And we welcome investors from home and abroad," the secretary said.
(China Daily 07/25/2006 page17)
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