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  Booming economy boosts city's status  



QINGDAO: Qingdao boasts great potential in its economy.

Wherever you go, the beautiful coastal city of Shandong province displays prosperous scenes in different industries, making it live up to the status of one of the nation's most vigorous cities.

There are currently more than 460 sailors from 41 countries and regions taking part in the Qingdao International Regatta.

Signs of Qingdao International Beer Festival have been at every corner of the city, with 45 world famous beer brands catering to people from every corner of the world.

According to tourism and transportation statistics, a total of 150,000 tourists and business people flock to the city each day, 300 ships set off and put into port each day, more than 200 flights take off and land at the airport, while the value of cargo imported and exported exceeds US$500 million.

Thanks to its strategy of Sustainable Development, Qingdao has been listed as the Best Business City on the Chinese Mainland by Fortune magazine, among all of the guidelines, the quality of the environment and the potential of city were ranked in the top 3.

Qingdao mayor Xia Geng said Qingdao's GDP increased 16.9 per cent in 2005 compared to the previous year, while GDP in the first three months of this year increased by 16.2 per cent.

He said more than 8,000 foreign companies have set up branches in Qingdao and there are 71 companies from the World's Top 500 that have made investments in 89 projects.

"And 6 per cent of China's famous brands are from Qingdao," he said.

"Qingdao has a history of over 100 years. Its rapid economic development reflects the rate of the nation's development. Qingdao is aiming to become one of the main cities in China."

Xia believes the city will be more appealing to the whole world after it hosts the regatta events at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The city's major industrial sectors include electronics, chemicals, rubber, food and beverages, automobiles, container and ship-making, clothing and art and crafts. Environmentally friendly appliances, marine products, new material and bio-pharmaceuticals have pushed the recent GDP increases. Port, tourism and marine economy are the three key industries of Qingdao.

Famous brands like Tsingtao, Haier, Hisense, Doublestar, and Aucma have contributed about 70 per cent of the city's total industrial production value.

Besides electronics and appliances, other key industries include apparel and the food and beverage sectors - Nike and Coca-Cola - also have multiple plants in town.

Thanks to a clean and favorable investment environment, companies like Samsung, HP, Lucent, Hyundai, Panasonic, Nescafe and Wal-Mart have moved to Qingdao in recent years and are joined by top domestic brands like Gome, Sanlian and The Home World.

By increasing the efficiency of bidding procedures, service and government examinations and approvals, more companies are expected to choose Qingdao as their ideal destination for investment.





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