Guangdong's coastal city of Zhanjiang has become an increasingly attractive investment destination, said its executive vice-mayor Cao Xing. The credit for this, he said, goes to the city's location, resources and business environment being better known to the world.
Cao made the remarks during an investment promotion meeting following the groundbreaking of BASF's mega-sized integrated chemical production site in Zhanjiang on Nov 23.
He noted that Zhanjiang, along the Beibu Gulf, was a transport hub in the south of China. With a comprehensive transportation system of seaports, highways and railways, the city is conveniently connected to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the neighboring Hainan province, the rest of the country and the rest of the world.
With a number of deepwater harbors, the city is an important shipping hub in China. A new underconstruction port area, which is designed to accommodate vessels of up to 400,000 metric tons, will further consolidate Zhanjiang's position as South China's gateway for international trade.
According to Cao, a number of transport facilities - consisting of a new international airport, several high-speed railways and several expressways - will further improve the city's appeal as an investment destination.
Location and resources apart, adding to Zhanjiang's advantages is its growing economic strength.
According to the city government, in the first half of 2019, the retail volume of consumer goods in Zhanjiang increased 8.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the nation's average rate of 8.1 percent and Guangdong's average of 7.8 percent. Local officials said the increase shows a stronger demand from the market.
Despite the trade friction between the United States and China, Zhanjiang's exports in the first half increased 10.3 percent year-on-year, showing the growing competitiveness of products made in Zhanjiang, said the officials.
Investor confidence in Zhanjiang is also growing, reflected in the more than 300 percent growth of inbound investment in the first six months, compared to the same period last year.
Many businesspeople have praised the government's efforts in facilitating investment.
The government recently undertook measures to improve the local business environment, such as streamlining business registration and customs procedures, offering incentives on land use and reduced business taxes to enterprises.
Zheng Quan, general manager of a home decoration company, said he had noticed substantial improvement in the government's services.
"It took us over half a month to register our company in Zhanjiang six years ago. And a month ago, we registered a new branch of the company within a day," he said.