Investment in Anhui
Area: 139,600 km2
Population: 64.6 Million (2004)
Capital city: Hefei
Major cities: Anqing, Bengbu, Bozhou, Huainan, Huangshan, Maâ€™anshan, Tongling.
GDP: 537.6 billion RMB
GDP per capita: 8597 RMB
Investing in Anhui Province
Whilst Anhui still lags someway behind its neighbouring provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang in terms of GDP, attempts have been made in recent years to improve the accessibility of the area to foreign investors. Total foreign investment in Anhui had almost reached the US$10bn level at the end of 2004, with firms from some 80 countries having a presence in the region, including 24 of the worldâ€™s 500 largest companies.
In order to achieve its goal of bringing about a 'well-off' society, the government of Anhui has developed a project entitled â€˜8-6-1â€™, which comprises eight industrial bases, six major projects in an attempt to bring the level of per capita GDP to US$1000, from where the name is derived. The eight industrial bases are intended to form the foundation of competitive industries, comprising manufacturing and processing, raw materials, chemicals, energy production, a new and high tech sector, high quality agricultural products, promotion of natural beauty spots, and the encouragement of a cultural scene.
The six basic projects are seen to be key to the modernisation of Anhui, and of these the development of the provincial infrastructure, with highways, railways, aviation, and waterways being targeted, is pivotal. The other projects include the harnessing of the rivers in the region, which includes the Yangtze, to improve flood control and fight drought; the development of a digital information network; beginning a process towards a more ecologically sound state; create centres for credit at governmental, regional and individual level and foster the demand for this credit; and an emphasis on the nurturing of talent, through advertising, training, and utilisation.
The development of the highways has been extensive with a modern internal road network connecting all major cities. Investment during the 10th Five Year Plan totalled almost 71 billion RMB. In addition, Hefei and other cities have been connected to key cities in the eastern provinces such as Nanjing. It is hoped that by the end of 2007 there will be some 2500km of express roads, with a further 20,000km of rural roads to be rebuilt. Anhui also lies on a key railroad route between the Chinese capital, Beijing, and its largest city, Shanghai, as well as the important north-south route to Hong Kong. This prime location has earned Anhui the enviable title of the most widely covered province, in terms of track length, in eastern China, with 600km of newly built track. Airline networks now connect Anhui with 50 domestic destinations, with both scheduled and charter airlines serving international destinations. This infrastructure has, along with significant water-based transportation, facilitated easier access and thus investment to the province.