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Xiamen pushes forward higher-level opening-up


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 3 Janvier 2022

By building channels, establishing platforms and smoothening circulation, Xiamen has fully utilized both domestic and international markets and resources and speeded up the development of important zones for opening-up, including its Taiwan business investment zone, export processing zone, pilot reform zone for deepening Cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, free trade zone, and independent innovation demonstration zone.


By Jiang Shengyang, Qi Zhiming, People’s Daily

A cargo vessel sails near Gulangyu Island in Xiamen city, southeast China’s Fujian province. (Photo by Zhou Daoxian/People’s Daily Online)
A cargo vessel sails near Gulangyu Island in Xiamen city, southeast China’s Fujian province. (Photo by Zhou Daoxian/People’s Daily Online)
Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast China’s Fujian province and also one of China’s earliest special economic zones and pioneers of reform and opening up, is injecting new driving forces into its high-quality economic and social development by promoting higher-level opening-up.

“With favorable policies, welcoming market and great opportunities, the outstanding business environment of Xiamen motivates us to continue intensifying investment here. We are full of confidence in the long-term development of our business on this land of vibrancy,” said James Zhao, lead business manager for ABB Electrification in China.

By realizing automatic adjustment and allocation of temperature and lighting in different scenarios through digital solutions, the smart energy management platform developed by the Swiss tech giant’s industrial center in Xiamen has demonstrated how smart green energy can be used in the future.

Over the past three decades, ABB’s businesses in Xiamen have enjoyed continuous expansion, burgeoning from a small factory with about 100 staff members into ABB’s largest and most advanced manufacturing base in the world.

Many years ago, Xiamen already started to strive for a world-class business environment. Aligning itself with high-level international and domestic standards, Xiamen has taken a series of measures, including integrating regulations, promoting single-window document processing for international trade, and setting up special courts to handle intellectual property and bankruptcy cases, eventually becoming one of the top Chinese cities in terms of business environment.

Data show that the city witnessed an average annual growth of 16.9 percent in its actual use of foreign direct investment between 1983 and 2020.

Forty years ago, the GDP of Xiamen was only 640 million yuan (about $100.42 million). Today, with 1.4 percent of the land area of Fujian province, the city generates 14.5 percent of the province’s regional GDP and accounts for 26.2 percent of Fujian’s fiscal revenue and nearly 50 percent of its foreign trade volume.

In 2020, Xiamen’s GDP exceeded 638.4 billion yuan, and its per capita GDP reached 124,000 yuan.

By further elevating the level of opening-up and advancing industrial transformation and upgrading, Xiamen is speeding up the construction of a modern economic system.

So far, the city has cultivated multiple clusters in predominant industries including electronic information, shipping and logistics, tourism and convention and exhibition, and built nine high-value industrial chains in such industries as flat-panel display and computer and communications technology equipment.

Besides, clusters of strategic emerging industries in the city, such as biomedicine and health as well as new-type functional materials, are also expanding continuously.

The city has made great efforts to attract investment and talents, constantly improving its capacity for making sci-tech innovations while promoting opening-up.

With 2,282 national-level high-tech enterprises, Xiamen sees the research and development (R&D) intensity reach 3.08 percent. The proportion of the value added of the city’s high-tech industries in that of its industries above designated size is as high as 43.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Fuzhou-Xiamen-Quanzhou national independent innovation demonstration zone involving the three cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen, and Quanzhou in Fujian province, is picking up speed.

From a small flat with a floor area of about 100 square meters to a self-built R&D building covering an area of more than 10,000 square meters, from a single terminal product line to complete sets of communications solutions, and from an Original Equipment Manufacturer to a high-tech company with high-end self-owned brands, link Network Technology Co., Ltd. headquartered in Huli district of Xiamen has traveled an extraordinary development path.

“Nighty percent of our turnover is from foreign countries. We have long maintained the largest market share in the BRICS countries,” said Zhang Huirong, deputy general manager of the company, whose products are selling well in more than 140 countries and regions around the world.

During the past 40 years, Xiamen’s total imports and exports have expanded 18.1 percent annually on average. Ranking sixth among China’s top 100 cities in terms of foreign trade comprehensive competitiveness, Xiamen has sold “Made in China” products to more than 220 countries and regions over the past four decades.

In 1983, the city only used $8 million of foreign investment. Today, 63 Fortune Global 500 enterprises have invested in 114 projects in Xiamen.

By building channels, establishing platforms and smoothening circulation, Xiamen has fully utilized both domestic and international markets and resources and speeded up the development of important zones for opening-up, including its Taiwan business investment zone, export processing zone, pilot reform zone for deepening Cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, free trade zone, and independent innovation demonstration zone.

As the city constantly improves its efficiency and level of the utilization of domestic and foreign investment, its “circle of friends” for two-way trade and investment becomes increasingly large.