West China covers 56% of the country’s total land area and is home to 23% of China’s population. It comprises seven provinces (Sichuan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai), one municipality (Chongqing) and three autonomous regions (Ningxia, Xinjiang and Tibet). Over the years, the Chinese government have implemented initiatives like the ‘Western Development Strategy’ and ‘Go West Plan’ to encourage more investments into the western inland regions and speed up the region’s transformation.
Sichuan serves as a transportation and commercial hub for much of China’s western region. Apart from its capital city, Chengdu, other up-and-coming cities such as Mianyang, Deyang and Luzhou also present many opportunities.
Its comparatively low labour and land costs, as well as enhanced connectivity, have attracted investors to set up production bases in inland China.
Sichuan is developing its advanced manufacturing capabilities in areas such as aviation, electric vehicles, biomedicine, medical equipment, oil & gas drilling, digitally controlled machine tools and robots and new materials. Sichuan is also growing its services industry, particularly in the fields of finance, logistics, e-commerce, eldercare, healthcare outsourcing and science & technology.
Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park (SSCIP) is a key project between Singapore and Sichuan. Established in 2012, SSCIP is strategically located within the developed Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone (CDHTZ) and Chengdu Free Trade Zone. Its lead developer is Sino-Singapore Innovation Park Development Co (SSCIP Co) – a joint venture owned by Chengdu Hi-Tech Investment Group Co (wholly owned by Chengdu High-Tech Zone Management Committee) and Singapore-Sichuan Investment Holdings (50-50 joint venture owned by Sembcorp Development and CapitaLand).
The SSCIP is well-connected to existing metro and road infrastructure and to Chengdu’s city centre and airport. As a landing pad for Singapore tech and innovation start-ups, the Singapore Innovation Centre (SIC) launched in 2018 in SSCIP serves to encourage knowledge exchange and collaboration.
Singapore companies in Sichuan include: Awfully Chocolate, CapitaLand, Etonhouse, Keppel Land, Mapletree Logistics, Perennial, Putien, Rigel Technology, and ST Engineering.
Chongqing is the only inland municipality in China and the location of the third China-Singapore Government-to-Government project named the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI). It is well connected by the four modes of transportation - river, air, rail and land.
Chongqing is currently developing its advanced manufacturing capabilities in aviation, electric vehicles, biomedicine, medical equipment and new materials. In the services sector, finance, logistics, e-commerce, eldercare and healthcare have emerged as key growth areas.
Singapore companies present in Chongqing include: CapitaLand, Changi Airport International, DBS, ECON Healthcare, Ednovation, Mapletree, Raffles Medical Group, and Singapore Power.
The CCEC is the fourth regional economic cluster announced by the China government. This cluster covers an area of 206,000 square kilometres with a total estimated population of nearly 100 million, and a combined GDP of 6.8 trillion RMB. Anchored by Chengdu and Chongqing, which are the two most developed and urbanised cities in Western China, the CCEC will focus on key areas including integrated circuits, big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, information security, smart manufacturing, electronics, software development, and education and training.
Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi, is the province’s most developed and vibrant city. The sectors contributing to the city’s economic growth include electronic information, high-end equipment manufacturing, automobile industry, new materials and new energy, aerospace and aviation, and biomedicine. In addition, Xi’an is developing AI, robots, 5G, big data and cloud computing and additive manufacturing as its new engines of growth.
Xi’an’s rapid growth has fuelled consumer demand for products and services. Its drive to increase working adult population has attracted over one million young and well-educated residents in the short space of 18 months. This in turn raised consumption and demand for lifestyle-related goods and services, education and healthcare services.
Xi’an is also one of China’s most attractive tourist destinations with its rich history and culture; this has driven the development of many infrastructure and tourism-related projects.
With comparatively lower overheads and a huge pool of talent, Xi’an is an attractive destination city for both institutions and established high-tech enterprises. The capital city is home to over 1.2 million college students and over 3,000 research & development institutions. This strong ecosystem has attracted global firms such as Micron and Samsung to set up semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Xi’an. For Singapore companies looking for high-tech and software development opportunities in Xi’an, the Ascendas Innovation Towers serves as a suitable launchpad for high-tech and software development companies.
Singapore companies in Shaanxi include: Ascott, CapitaLand, Charles & Keith, Josiah Montessori, Mapletree Logistics, and Straco.