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Xian, known as Chang'an in ancient times, is one of the nation's most popular tourist attractions. One of the four great ancient capitals of the world during the Tang Dynasty, it now serves as the capital of Shaanxi Province. Present day Xian is an important economic, technological, commerce, trade and cultural center in the vast domain of central and western China .

China's entry into the WTO and the implementation of the Central Government' s "Go West" strategy in 2001, which began the process of large-scale development of the country's western regions, has resulted in an unprecedented opportunity for Xian's current economic rise and renewal. Xian offers foreign investors a unique environment with its inherent advantages in science, technology, education, tourism, commerce and trade, manifested and reflected in both its ancient and modern civilizations, existing industrial bases and its golden location connecting the country's East and West and North to South.

In 2002, Xian was recognized, together with five other Chinese cities- Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Suzhou and Wenzhou- as the ''The most innovative and vigorous in the World'' by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

In 2006, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Xian was 145 billion RMB, up by 12.3 percent over the previous year and its total investment in fixed assets reached 106.7 billion RMB. Xian is ranked 38th in terms of comprehensive economic strength among all Chinese cities and 44th in the 2006 Chinese Cities Competitive Ratings Survey.

Xi'an's principal strategic industry is IT and high-tech. There are more than 800 high-tech enterprises in Xi'an, and heavyweight firms like Intel, Sybase, SPSS, Fujitsu, NEC, Sorun, and Platform all have a presence in the Xi'an National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. Other industries driving Xi'an's growth are equipment manufacturing, tourism, service industries and cultural industries.

Among Xi'an's strategic economic advantages are its highly-trained workforce (with relatively low wage and salary levels), and the presence in the city of some of China's most prestigious universities, with a strong focus on science, technology and engineering.

The city's has ambitious economic development plans: its industrial orientation will encompass four more development zones and two more industrial bases. This will build on the success to date of the city's Economic and Industrial Development Zones. The Xi'an National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone is already Xi'an's most important economic contributor, and the Xi'an Economic & Technological Development Zone, with its focus on modern manufacturing and hi-tech infrastructure has already attracted investment from major players like Coca Cola, GM, Siemens, Rolls & Royce, Mitsubishi, Volvo and ABB.

Economic Contribution Ratios by Sector

In 2006, the economic contribution ratio of the primary industries, which include agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and the fisheries, represented 4.9% of GDP; the economic contribution ratio of the secondary and value-added industries and construction represented 42.4%; while the economic contribution ratio of the tertiary sector represented 52.7%.

Foreign Trade Overview

In 2006, Xi'an's total import/export volume was US$4.2 billion, with export volume amounting to US$2.7 billion and import volume totaling US$1.4 billion. Major exports include hi-tech products, mechanical and electrical products and fruits. Xi'an's major export trade markets were Europe, the U.S.A and Japan. Imports mainly came from Japan, Germany, Belgium, the U.S.A and Sweden. Xi’an has begun to focus on developing new markets in Russia, Central Asia, the ASEAN region, Latin America and Africa.

Foreign Trade and Cultural Ties

Xi'an has 17 sister cities in 15 countries from around the globe and regularly conducts scientific, academic and cultural exchanges to promote mutual understanding and friendship. The first diplomatic mission; the Royal Thai Consulate settled in Xi’an in 2006 as well.

List of Xi'an's Sister Cities

Name of City

Country

Date of Establishment

Nara

Japan

Feb., 1, 1974

Kyoto

May, 10, 1974

Funabashi

Nov., 2, 1994

Kyongiu

Korea

Nov., 18, 1994

Katmandu

Nepal

Sept., 12, 1996

Ispahan

Iran

May, 7, 1989

Lahore

Pakistan

June, 20, 1992

Scotia

Turkey

Sept., 8, 1996

Edinburgh

UK

April, 15, 1985

Dortmund

Germany

July, 22, 1992

Pau

France

Sept., 15, 1986

Lasi

Romania

Dec., 6, 1994

Dniepropetrovsk

Ukraine

Oct., 27, 1995

Kansas

USA

April, 29, 1989

Quebec

Canada

May, 11, 2001

Brasilia

Brazil

Nov., 5, 1996

Cordoba

Argentina

March, 11, 2002

City's Strategic Industries

 

Xian has 5 pillar industries: IT and hi-tech, equipment manufacturing, tourism, modern services and cultural industries. These sectors are complemented by strong development in the chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, building materials, metallurgy and the food industry. By the end of 2006, there were more than 48,200 industrial enterprises in Xi'an. Some of the city's renowned enterprises include the Xi'an Telecom Technology Co., Ltd., the Xi'an Kaimi Co., Ltd., Xi'an Haihong Bearing General Factory and the Shaanxi Best Enterprise Group.

The IT and Hi-Tech Sector

Well-developed and highly advanced, the IT and hi-tech sector is the most important industry in Xian, contributing 29.7% of the city's total industrial output. The city boasts more than 800 hi-tech enterprises, of which 568 are software development firms. The industrial output of the hi-tech sector in 2005 totaled 80 billion RMB, contributing 2.71 billion RMB in local business tax revenue and resulting in the export of more than US$42 million worth of software. Xian's software industry continues to grow and has been successful in attracting investment from international firms such as Intel, Sybase, SPSS, Fujitsu, NEC, Sorun, and Platform to name a few. Many foreign firms, including Reynolds and Reynolds and CompuPacific have established BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) centers in the Xi'an Software Park.

Equipment Manufacturing Industry

There are now several manufacturing-specific industrial zones in Xi'an, incorporating ten industrial complexes including the automotive and auto-parts sector, aeronautics and power transmission equipment, with over 320 medium and large-scale manufacturing enterprises employing over 210,000 people. In 2006, the city allocated 20.65 billion RMB to industrial investment. Four more major equipment manufacturing bases are under construction in the aeronautics, tool and dye, electronics and mechanical equipment sectors. To date, 88 foreign-funded equipment manufacturing projects have been completed with a total investment of 34.7 billion RMB.

Tourism

In 2006, Xian accommodated 27.39 million tourists, including over 867,000 guests from overseas and generated 20.43 billion RMB in revenue from domestic sources, plus an additional 467 million RMB in foreign currencies. Xian aims to develop itself into the number one mid-and-western Chinese city in four major tourism-related areas including volume of inbound and outbound visitors, high quality tourism-related education and training, conferences and exhibitions, and tourism-oriented merchandising and souvenirs.

Modern Services

Total added value created by the service industries in Xian stood at 66.65 billion RMB in 2005, making up 52.35% of the city's GDP. There were 1859 financial institutions, employing over 40,000 people, by the end of 2005. The hospitality and catering sector has also experienced tremendous growth. The service industry employed 1.64 million people in 2005, almost 40% of the city's total employment figure. In the future, Xian will give top priority to the development of counseling and information businesses, intermediary services, the insurance sector, accounting and legal services.

Culture industry

Based on Tang dynasty culture, the Long March, and folk songs of northern Shaanxi, Xian has made strides in promoting its cultural industries, including Tang porcelain, clay figurines, Chinese paper cutting, and shadow play. Movie production is also on the agenda, as at present, Xian is planning the construction of specialized zones for film production, publishing, animation, computer gaming, exhibitions, and leisure. In 2007, the municipal government will earmark 20 million RMB for the development of the cultural sector.

Foreign Trade & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

In 2006, the contractual value of foreign investment totaled US$1.83 billion, with actualized foreign investment reaching US$0.83 billion. The city has attracted 83 of the world's Fortune 500 enterprises, 45 of whom have built plants, R&D centers and/or factories already. There are over 2,250 foreign-invested enterprises in the city, with total investment of over US$10.7 billion. Xi'an ranks first in terms of attracting foreign investment and foreign trade among cities in the western regions of China.

Foreign enterprises operating in Xian include: Mitsubishi Electric Transmission & Distribution, Fujitsu System Engineering Co. Ltd., NEC Radio Communications Equipment Co. Ltd., McDonald's Co. Ltd., Volvo Passenger Car Co. Ltd., ABB Electric Power Container Co. Ltd., Philips Wireless Telecommunications Center, and Nestle Foods Co. Ltd.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 July 2010 )
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