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China`s Ningxia Region Attracting Global Biz Interest

Posted August. 21, 2009 22:11,   


A French developer of irrigation facilities said, “Ningxia, the mid and upper stream of the Yellow River (in China), has little rain, so people in the area should draw water from the river. More irrigation facilities are needed. So we’d like to introduce world-class irrigation technology there.”

A Beijing representative of the Kazakhstani Chamber of Commerce said, “Ningxia is close to Kazakhstan geographically and the two have deep historical ties. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce 2,000 Kazakhstani companies.”

An official from the Turkish Embassy in Beijing said, “If we take advantage of the fact that we have the same faith Islam, we can produce better business opportunities.”

Officials and businessmen from all over the world tried to win over Ningxia residents at a recent exhibition.

About 10 U.S. states, including Washington, Kansas, Idaho and Pennsylvania, set up booths. Thirty Chinese provinces and autonomous districts advertized their own tour packages and indigenous products and explained their business environment to investors. Taiwan also set up more than 20 booths.

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is the sole area in China with the Hui people. Though the Hui account for 35 percent of the region’s population, few ethnic conflicts have occurred due to widespread intermarriage, making the region politically and socially stable.

With coal mining, drug production and tours to its deserts as main industries, the region is emerging as a trade hub linking the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Qinghai province.

Park Yong-su, president of Ningxia Hantong Intelligent System, a tollgate facility and sewage system provider in the region’s capital of Yinchuan, said, “Koreans don’t know about Ningxia, but Ningxia’s public servants praise Korean culture and technology. So I’d like to encourage Koreans to invest in the region.”

○ Bridge to the Arab world

The Ningxia government is building an industrial park for heavy chemicals covering 2,800 square kilometers on the outskirts of Yinchuan. The region used to sell mined coal to other regions, but will instead sell the electricity generated by the coal to Beijing and east coast regions such as Hebei and Shandong provinces and produce a number of heavy chemical products.

Power transmission, which will be part of China’s initiative to transfer electricity produced in western regions to the east, will begin as early as next year.

One major reason for Ningxia’s emergence is Beijing’s efforts to use the region as a bridge to the Arab world. Of 22 Arab ambassadors in China, 10 attended a conference between China and Arab countries held on the sidelines of the exhibition.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Beijing Faisal R. Al-Ghais, who also leads an association of Arab diplomats in China, said, “Given that Ningxia and Arab countries have many things in common ethnically, religiously and culturally, Arab investment in Ningxia will increase.”