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  Global Fortune 500 companies target Qingdao  



QINGDAO: Global Fortune 500 companies have shown an increasing interest in investing in Qingdao and according to the Qingdao Foreign Trade and Economy Bureau, by the end of July, 78 companies from the top 500 club had become involved in 150 projects in the city.

The total investment value of the projects, that are linked to electronics, communication equipment, chemicals, textile and clothes production, electric machinery, metalwork, food and beverages and the retail and social service industry has reached 25 billion yuan (US$3,13 billion).

"Qingdao has become an ideal base for foreign companies. We have an excellent investment environment, manpower resources and service system. More importantly, statistics show that 90 per cent of foreign companies have benefited from their investments after choosing Qingdao," said Xia Geng, mayor of the city.

Qingdao is the wealthiest city in Shandong province, which has the second-highest GDP of all of China's provinces. Despite its cosy position on the Yellow Sea along the outer edge of the Shandong Peninsula, Qingdao is lumped together with its neighbours on the other side of the peninsula as part of the Bohai Sea Rim economic zone, North China's answer to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) regions.

Of the Bohai Rim cities, it is the most accessible to international sea routes and is especially convenient to Japan and Korea, an advantage that has helped Qingdao's port in the Huangdao District compete with its rival in Tianjin.

Thanks to its role as the transportation hinge and leader of economy in the province, Qingdao is able to provide a big market and business partners to foreign companies.

To highlight the importance of the city, a Forum on Mutual Development from World Top 500 and Other Businesses was held in May.

World giants like GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, GE, Dell, Intel, IBM, Motorola and Dupont, which cover fields such as finance, motoring, communication, energy, medicine chemical engineering, retail and services, came together and exchanged ideas with local companies.

To better service the foreign companies, the Qingdao Economic and Technical Development Zone was set up and has become a centralized foreign investment zone.

At present, there are 339 projects with individual investments above US$10 million, 13 of which exceeded US$100 million. Among them, there are 56 projects invested by Global Fortune 500 companies.

Big investment also helps lure more foreign companies to produce supporting facilities. Dozens of famous chemical engineering companies from the US, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have increased their efforts to become involved in the city.

For example, US technology giant Lucent has increased its investments to more than US$80 million since it started its first project in Qingdao.

Foreign investment also offers more chances for local companies and produces new jobs for the people of Qingdao.

At least 1,500 local companies have been set up in a bid to produce supporting facilities, creating more than 50,000 jobs.

In addition, Qingdao harbour boasts scores of international liners and has an increased cargo capacity of 30 per cent, reaching 180 million tons last year with 6.3 million containers.

In the first half of this year, cargo capacity reached 109,85 million tons.





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