Monday, September 23, 2013, 11:14
Chengdu hosting World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention
By Zhuan Ti

Chengdu hosting World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention
Chengdu is ready for hosting the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention. An economic powerhouse in the western region, the city is attracting increasing investment, both from home and abroad.

More than 3,200 Chinese entrepreneurs and industry leaders from over 100 countries and regions are expected to gather in Chengdu for the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention underway from Sept 24 to 26.

Held every two years since 1991, this year’s convention is themed “China’s development, opportunities for Chinese entrepreneurs”.

It opens at a time when the nation’s “go-west” strategy has renewed momentum amid ongoing industrial transformation.

It is the second major international convention Chengdu will host this year after the Fortune Global Forum in June, highlighting the role of Sichuan’s capital as a growth hub in western China.

“Chengdu lies in the center of the western part of the country with great foundation and prospects for future development,” said Ren Qiliang, director of the convention’s organizing committee.

“It has a significant role in the country’s new round of development.”

He said Chengdu is where Chinese entrepreneurs are finding new business opportunities, so the city won the fancy of the organizing committee.

“Chengdu still manages a rapid growth rate way above the national average despite the sluggish global economy,” he said.

The city outranked peers in western China in most economic indicators in the first quarter, according to the Chengdu Statistics Bureau.

Chengdu’s total trade volume reached $23.81 billion in the first half of the year, up 6.7 percent year on year. Per capita income of farmers grew to 4,571 yuan ($744.6), an increase of 12.2 percent.

Among all sub-provincial level cities in western China, Chengdu ranked first in both those indicators and the economic aggregate.

Other economic indicators released by the bureau include fixed-asset investment, total retail sales of consumer goods, tax and fee revenues, and per capita urban disposable income.

 Chengdu is also one of the only two cities in western and central China that made the list of the nation’s 20 most competitive cities, according to the 2013 Blue Book of City Competitiveness published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Chengdu’s GDP last year totaled nearly 814 billion yuan ($130 billion).

The city’s total trade volume with foreign countries reached $47.54 billion in 2012, up 25.5 percent compared to the year before.

Some 245 Fortune Global 500 companies now have operations in Chengdu.

Per capita disposable income rose 13.6 percent to 27,194 yuan, greatly outpacing inflation, which was 3 percent last year, according to official figures.

The gap between rural and urban income has also narrowed over the last decade. Rural income was 37.6 percent the level of urban income in 2002, but by last year had risen to 41.5 percent.

About 35 percent of Chengdu’s 14 million residents are rural.

Their average net income per capita grew by 14.1 percent to 11,301 yuan in 2012.

Xie Guomin, chairman of the China Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Association, said China’s “new round of go-west strategy brings Chengdu unlimited business opportunities”.

“Chengdu has achieved continuous economic growth since the reform and opening-up policy was launched,” he said.

“The city’s construction has accelerated (in recent years) while the investment environment is getting increasingly better.”

Major deals

The first World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention was held in Singapore in 1991 and now serves as a significant forum to strengthen ties and develop exchanges.

After an opening ceremony on Wednesday, the convention will have 15 forums.

Political and business leaders from Chengdu and Sichuan province will introduce the new opportunities in   the push for greater western development.

City government departments in charge of attracting investment have already held campaigns in cities including Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou to raise the awareness before the event opens.

“We have done careful study on Chinese entrepreneurs who already have invested in Sichuan and Chengdu, as well as the 500 most important attendants.

We have come up with matchmaking plans for nearly 40 confirmed major projects,” said Chen Bin, deputy director of the Chengdu Investment Commission.

Chen said a range of major deals could be signed during the convention.