The Jing-Jin-Ji region, also known as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, is the national capital region of China. In 2018, the Jing-Jin-Ji region accounted for approximately 9% of China’s total GDP. The region is also a significant growth cluster for the electronics, tech, logistics, real estate, and healthcare sectors. The central government aims to spur the development and integration of the region by leveraging each area’s unique strengths: (a) Beijing’s modern services industry, (b) Tianjin’s logistics, connectivity and advanced manufacturing industries and (c) Hebei’s natural resources and heavy industries.
*Reported as disposable income per capita (RMB)
Sources: Beijing Bureau of Statistics, Tianjin Bureau of Statistics, Hebei Bureau of Statistics
Beijing, the national capital, is a key political, cultural and financial centre of China. In 2018, Beijing’s GDP grew 6.6% year-on-year to reach RMB 3.0 trillion. It is driven mainly by its services sector, which accounted for about 80% of its GDP. The economic powerhouse presents opportunities in consumerism, technology and e-commerce sectors. At Enterprise Singapore (ESG), we work closely with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to identify sectors and opportunities for the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).
Singapore companies present in Beijing include CapitaLand, Mapletree Logistics, Keppel Land, Perennial, Awfully Chocolate, Bee Cheng Hiang, Charles & Keith, Putien, TWG, Q&M Dental, Raffles Medical Group, DBS and UOB.
Bordering both municipalities is Hebei province, a region fast gaining attention from investors. The province boasted a GDP of RMB 3.6 trillion in 2018, a 6.6% growth year-on-year. While it has traditionally played a supporting role to Beijing and Tianjin due to its emphasis on natural resources and heavy industries, the Beijing government has recently began directing advanced industries to the province. The establishment of Xiong’an New Area - a state-level economic zone – has also boosted the province’s profile. Cities in Hebei such as Shijiazhuang, Langfang and Baoding are set to benefit from the development of the Xiong’an New Area, with opportunities for investors in sectors ranging from real estate to finance set to grow.
Singapore companies present in Hebei include Crestar, KSH, Engro, Q&M, Sembcorp Industries and Sembcorp Utilities.
Tianjin is home to the second Singapore-China government-to-government platform project - Tianjin Eco-City. The municipality houses one of China’s top ten ports, and posted a GDP of over RMB 1.8 trillion in 2018. Its pillar industries include manufacturing, electronics, and petrochemicals. Tianjin is often designated as a pilot area for financial innovation as well as policy experiments, making it a region to watch for businesses.
Singapore projects in Tianjin include YCH and Mapletree’s logistics facilities in Tianjin Binhai New Area Airport Logistics Park, PSA’s container port terminal joint venture project with Tianjin Port Group, Lian Huat Group’s integrated business park in Beichen District.
Liaoning is commonly viewed as the gateway to Northeast China, and is the only province in the region which has a coastal border. The Dalian Port is one of the top 20 ports globally by container turnover, while the airports in Shenyang and Dalian are among the busiest international airports in the region. Located close to Korea and Japan, Liaoning is a key node in the Sino-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor. Given this geographical location, gateway cities such as Dalian and Shenyang have the potential to become regional connectivity hubs and business centres in Northeast China, at the same time connecting Japan and Korea.
While traditionally focused on heavy industries, Liaoning has shifted its emphasis in recent years to its services sector. However, the province is still in its nascent stages of its economic transformation. This means that there is less competition in its cities compared to first-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. This makes Liaoning an ideal location for SMEs looking to venture to China.
PSA’s first overseas project was in Dalian where it formed a joint venture with Dalian Port Authority to develop the Dalian Container Port. Ascendas-Singbridge has a joint venture with Dalian Software Park to form Dalian Ascendas IT Park. The project consists of office buildings and a central hub with extensive lifestyle amenities, convenience stores and convention facilities. Other Singapore companies in Liaoning include Armstrong’s manufacturing plant and CapitaLand Township in Shenyang, Etonhouse’s International school in Dalian and Q&M’s dental centres.
Sources: Liaoning Bureau of Statistics, Shenyang Bureau of Statistics, Dalian Bureau of Statistics
Shandong is the second most populous province in China. It has 17 prefecture-level cities and 139 counties. In 2018, Shandong had the third largest GDP amongst provinces in China, after Guangdong and Jiangsu. Shandong is also one of the largest consumer markets in China.
While Jinan is the provincial capital, Qingdao, the coastal city, remains the province's leading industrial centre. Together with Dalian, Ningbo, Xiamen and Shenzhen, Qingdao belongs to a special category of sub-provincial level cities (计划单列市), where a proportion of the city’s fiscal revenue is submitted directly to the Central Government, instead of the provincial government.
The key demand drivers are rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. We see urban solutions, infrastructure (BRI) and tertiary services as key sectors for Singapore companies. Apart from Qingdao, we also see growth opportunities in Jinan and Yantai.
Notable Singapore companies in Shandong include Engro Corporation, EtonHouse, CapitaMalls Asia, Pacific International Lines, Freshening, Prima Limited, Viking Airtech and DBS.
Sources: Shandong Bureau of Statistics, Jinan Bureau of Statistics, Qingdao Bureau of Statistics, Yantai Bureau of Statistics