Sichuan is West China’s largest economy, and home to over 80 million residents. The province serves as a transportation and commercial hub for much of China’s western region. Apart from the capital city Chengdu, up-and-coming cities such as Mianyang, Deyang and Luzhou also present many untapped opportunities.
Its comparatively low labour and land costs, as well as enhanced connectivity, have attracted investors seeking cheaper production bases in inland China. In 2018, Sichuan’s GDP grew 8%, higher than China’s national average of 6.6%. Sichuan’s foreign trade and actual foreign direct investment (FDI) continued to grow in 2018 after rebounding from a two-year decline to reach USD $88.5 billion and USD 11.22 billion respectively.
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.
Notable Singapore companies in Sichuan include Etonhouse, Mapletree Logistics, Perennial, Rigel Technology, Keppel Land, Awfully Chocolate and House of Seafood.
Source(s): Sichuan Statistics Bureau and Sichuan Department of Commerce
Shaanxi is the largest economy in northwest China, and also serves as the gateway to Central Asian and European countries under the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). As Shaanxi continues on its stellar growth trajectory (its GDP grew by 8.3% in 2018), the provincial administration is employing a “Three Economies” strategy to help chart its next stage of development. Significant efforts to grow Shaanxi’s hub, gateway and mobile economies are already underway, with the province attracting USD 6.8 billion in FDI in 2018.
Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi, is the province’s most developed and vibrant city. It accounts for over one-third of Shaanxi’s GDP and over 90% of its FDI. In 2018, Xi’an’s GDP grew by 8.2%, with its disposable income per capita hitting RMB 38,729. The city’s key sectors include consumerism, the digital economy, technology & innovation and urban solutions and the built environment.
Xi’an’s rapid growth has fuelled consumer demand for products and services. Its new household policy attracted over one million young and well-educated residents in the short space of 18 months. This in turn has boosted demand for food, education and healthcare services; demand that Singapore companies such as Bee Cheng Hiang, Breadtalk, Crestar and Global Doctor are meeting.
With comparatively lower overheads and a huge pool of talent, Xi’an is an attractive destination city for both startups and established high-tech enterprises. The capital city is home to over 1.2 million college students and 3,000 research & development institutions, ensuring firms have an abundance of talent and partners to work with. This strong ecosystem has persuaded global firms such as Micron and Samsung to set up semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the city. For Singapore firms contemplating venturing to Shaanxi, Ascendas-Singbridge’s Innovation Towers serves as a suitable launchpad for high-tech and software development companies.
Xi’an is one of China’s most attractive tourist destinations, and this has bolstered demand for infrastructure development and tourism-related projects. Singapore companies such as CapitaLand, Banyan Tree, Surbana Jurong, Mapletree Logistics and Ascott are present in Xi’an, while Straco has been operating a cable car service at Lishan since the 1990s. More recently, the latter is investing in a new project to redevelop relic sites in Lishan.
Source(s): Shaanxi Statistics Bureau and Shaanxi Department of Commerce
Chongqing is the only inland municipality in China and the operating HQ of Singapore’s and China’s third government-to-government project named the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI). It is the only major inland province in Western China that is connected by four modes of transportation - river, air, rail and land. In 2018, the municipality’s GDP grew by 6% to reach RMB 2.05 trillion.
Chongqing is currently developing its advanced manufacturing capabilities in fields such as 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.
Chongqing is home to many notable Singapore projects. Examples include Raffles City Chongqing (Capitaland’s largest investment in China to date), Raffles Medical Group’s first general hospital in China and Sembcorp Industries’ group of power plants (which have a combined capacity of 1,620 MW).
Source(s): Chongqing Statistic Bureau and Chongqing Department of Commerce