Investors tempted in by business opportunities

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2023-08-11


Shanxi hosts the Innovation Annual Meeting of the 2023 Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum in the provincial capital, Taiyuan, on June 17-18. [Photo by Ruan Yang for China Daily]

Viewing investment promotion as key to assisting economic transformation and high-quality development, the North China province of Shanxi has intensified its efforts to attract investors over the past several months.

One recent move was that the Shanxi provincial government hosted an evening gala in Tianjin on June 26, prior to the opening of the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, or Summer Davos Forum.

While showcasing authentic Shanxi cuisine and culture to the forum's attendees, the provincial authorities introduced local business opportunities to attract the attention of global companies and investors. These include an ongoing economic transformation, energy revolution and the development of characteristic towns with specialty industries, as well as its landmark tourist attractions.

Before this, Shanxi hosted the Innovation Annual Meeting of the 2023 Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum on June 17-18 in the provincial capital of Taiyuan.

The Yabuli forum is one of the most influential platforms for exchanges among entrepreneurs in China.

At the event, Shanxi authorities said they hoped to use the forum and its members for investment promotion — and their efforts were successful.

Another heavyweight event for investment promotion was the Shanxi Conference for Investment Promotion held in mid-April.

At the conference, Lan Fo'an, secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, introduced to business delegates Shanxi's unique advantages for business development. These include a strong energy industry, abundant natural and tourism resources, proximity to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, booming development of industrial zones and characteristic towns as well as the flourishing growth of emerging sectors.

Sun Yuejie, executive deputy general manager of Shanxi Shangtai Lithium Battery Technology, was one of the business representatives attending the conference. He said the robust development of his company is an endorsement of Shanxi's sound business environment and the local authorities' practical approach to development.

Shanxi Shangtai, a producer of anode material, is a major supplier to the renowned lithium battery producer CATL.

Sun said since Shangtai settled in the Shanxi city of Jinzhong in 2017, it rapidly developed into the largest anode material producer in China in terms of market share.

"We have capitalized on the powerful coal industry in Shanxi," Sun said. He explained that graphite, the major ingredient for anode material, is a derivative of coal.

The executive noted that the company's development has benefited from the local authorities' industrial planning.

"Jinzhong is cultivating a new energy vehicle industry as its emerging growth engine," Sun said. "And the anode material sector represented by Shangtai is deemed as the core of the industry."

He went on to say that Jinzhong has developed an industrial park dedicated to the anode material sector, which is now the largest of its kind in the country.

Like Jinzhong, almost every city in Shanxi has appeal to investors.

The city of Yuncheng, for instance, is tapping into the potential of emerging industries like intelligent manufacturing, automobiles, biopharmaceuticals and new materials, all the while upgrading its traditional industries like coal mining.

In the city of Jincheng, the industries of coal-bed methane, photoelectronics, tourism, modern services and the digital economy are emerging, presenting new opportunities for investment.

Lyuliang city's unique offering is its hydrogen industry chain which covers the production of hydrogen, manufacture of hydrogen-fueled vehicles, construction of hydrogen filling stations and other services. This is forecast to be a cluster with a scale of more than 100 billion yuan ($13.87 billion) in terms of annual output value.

Datong city in northern Shanxi is close to Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Its development plan is aligned to its location with the aim to accommodate industries transferred from its three neighbors.

During the first half of this year, Datong-based businesses signed agreements with counterparts in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei for 49 investment projects with funds totaling 32.85 billion yuan.

Yan Jie contributed to this story.