Central China

China Regional Spotlight: Hefei, Anhui Province

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By Alex Tangkilisan

Oct. 28 – Dubbed the ‘City of Science and Education’ due to its more than 200 universities and research centers/laboratories scattered throughout the city, Hefei is the capital of the Anhui Province in Eastern China.

The city itself has five counties and four districts under its jurisdiction, and has a population of over 7.52 million. It is also serves as the political, economic and cultural hub of the province, and houses an administrative area covering 4,372 square miles. Continue reading…

China Regional Spotlight: Wuhan, Hubei Province

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By Shirley Zhang

Aug. 27 – With the Yangtze River running through the city, Wuhan was once nicknamed the “River City.” In addition to that, Wuhan has been referred to as the “Chicago of China” due to its role as a transportation hub for central China. It was even, at one point, described by way of an ancient Chinese idiom from the Ming Dynasty as “九省通衢 (jiu sheng tong qu),” which means that Wuhan is easily accessible by water or land from nine provinces – Sichuan, Shanxi, Henan, Hunan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei.

Today, Wuhan is still the transportation hub of Central China. In addition, being the capital of China’s Hubei Province, Wuhan is also recognized as the third largest technological and educational center in China behind Beijing and Shanghai. It is also a key finance, commerce, logistics and cultural center of Central China, even being colloquially known as the “golden key” to the enormous markets located within China’s central areas. Continue reading…

New Issue of China Briefing: Sourcing from China

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Sourcing-from-ChinaJun. 3 – The new issue of China Briefing Magazine, titled Sourcing from China, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the month of June.

While the United States and Europe continue to lead in the production of top-end manufacturing and smart technologies, China is slowly but surely climbing the technology ladder, and is actively trying to raise the human capital and managerial skills needed to lead such growth. Meanwhile, China continues to outpace competitors in the mass production of those basic, low value-added products necessary in the daily lives of people around the world. It has also managed to develop a fast and efficient national network of roads, railways, ports and airports coupled with a first-tier integrated logistics system. On top of these structural accomplishments, China has created a skilled workforce capable of producing anything an engineer can design, and a comprehensive supply chain that sources energy and raw materials from around the globe. Continue reading…

Utilizing Development Zones in China

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By Christian Fleming and Shirley Zhang

May 28 – Development zones are not a Chinese creation, but China in particular has found tremendous success with this economic tool. Historically, the liberal business environment in these areas have allowed foreign enterprises to operate more comfortably in the Chinese business environment, sheltered from the bureaucracy and red tape that often characterizes the rest of the country while at the same time such businesses could benefit from preferential policies, greater resource availability, and prime locations within regional hubs of creativity and innovation. Continue reading…

Picking China’s Middle Hanging Fruit – The New Inland Consumer

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Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

May 13 – Much commentary in the media has recently been focusing on the “China slowdown” and the impact of the country’s lower GDP growth figures going forward. In reality, measuring GDP growth is always a losing game, and not a particularly good indicator of how an economy is progressing. China has had tremendous GDP growth over the past 20 years, but it has always been inevitable that this growth would begin to slow at some point. A country cannot keep expanding its economy indefinitely at 10 percent a year, it is simply not possible. Accordingly, the naysayers over China’s future when it comes to measuring it purely in GDP growth terms are misled about what is really going on. Sure, the economy is slowing, but not all at the same time, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad. Continue reading…

New Issue of Asia Briefing: An Introduction to Development Zones Across Asia

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Development-Zones-Across-Asia-cover-250May 10 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled An Introduction to Development Zones Across Asia, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of May and June.

The use of development zones in their different guises has been an effective model essentially brought to prominence by China over the past 25 years to help both foreign investors and domestic companies meet in a relationship that provides tax advantages to both. Development zones typically permit the foreign investor to bring component parts into a country for assembly without having to pay import duties. Investors may then add in locally-sourced components, assemble the final product, and warehouse it all duty free before then having the option of exporting the finished product (collecting some VAT rebates on the locally sourced portion) or entering the domestic market with a product assembled at local labor costs. Continue reading…

Central China on the Rise

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By Yao Lu

Jan. 8 – Located in the heart of central China, Hubei Province’s capital city of Wuhan has traditionally been one of the country’s most important economic and transportation centers. However, with the introduction of the reform and opening-up policies starting from the late 1970s, Wuhan, like much of Central and West China, fell behind in the wave of economic growth that brought prosperity and development to coastal cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing.

Now, with implementation of the “Rise of Central China Plan” introduced by Premier Wen Jiabao in 2004, Wuhan has returned to the spotlight. In the first three quarters of 2012, regional GDP grew at 11.5 percent while national GDP growth has slowed to 7.7 percent. At the same time, the city has become a magnet for both domestic and foreign capital. In the first half of 2012, Wuhan attracted total investments of RMB98.8 billion, up 108 percent year-on-year, and introduced seven new projects invested in by Fortune 500 companies. Continue reading…

China Approves Plan for Creation of the Central Plains Economic Zone

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Jan. 3 – To support the balanced development of different regions within the country, China’s State Council officially approved the “Planning for a Central Plains Economic Zone (2012-2020) (guohan [2012] No.194, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Planning’)” on November 17, 2012. The proposed economic zone would cover the entirety of Henan Province, as well as twelve municipalities and two counties in the adjoining provinces of Shandong, Anhui, Hebei, and Shanxi.

The Central Plains Economic Zone (CPEZ) represents the largest economic zone in the country in terms of area and population, boasting a total area of 289,000 square meters and a population of roughly 179 million. Continue reading…