XINING - China's western region is set to attract more investment as the country's top private companies are discovering great potential in the region.
During the recently-concluded China Top 500 Private Enterprises Summit in Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai province, entrepreneurs shared their insights on investment and high-quality development in the western region.
"By holding the summit, we are expecting to boost the development of Qinghai and its neighboring areas, and promote the implementation of the country's strategy of developing the west," said Gao Yunlong, chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, organizer of the summit.
A total of 120 billion yuan (about $16.9 billion) was channeled to Qinghai during the event, according to official data.
China's western region boasts rich natural resources but remains relatively underdeveloped compared to other parts of the country.
Located in northwest China, Qinghai ranks first in the reserve of 11 kinds of minerals and is a major hydro-power base in the country. The plateau province enjoys about 11 percent of China's solar energy resources.
"Qinghai has great potential for development due to its abundant resources. There are many things we can do here," said Li Ruibin, president of Longy Group, a company that focuses on development and construction, energy and financial investment. The company, based in Shaanxi province, will invest over 10 billion yuan in Qinghai, covering fields of smart city construction and sand control.
Chinese telecom firm Huawei is also working with the province to build a big data park in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which is Huawei's 33rd cloud services spot in the country.
In 2018, Huawei started the construction of the park which is made up of facilities including big data center, smart city display center and big data industry incubation base. The total investment will amount to 50 billion yuan by 2025 upon the completion of the park, according to local officials.
Apart from China's strategy of developing the west, the Belt and Road Initiative is also bringing new opportunities to China's west, making it a new engine for the country's economic growth.
Due to the improved transportation, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is now better connected with the rest of the country than ever before. As China's gateway to Central and West Asia, the once-remote region has become a business hub on the Belt and Road.
Thanks to many preferential policies granted to the region, Xinjiang is becoming a hot spot for business investment. An increasing number of multinational corporations are shifting their focus from China's east to west, channeling more and more investment to Xinjiang.
In the first half of 2019, Xinjiang recorded a fixed-asset investment of about 184 billion yuan, up 7.3 percent year-on-year, according to an economic performance report issued by the regional government.
However, the development of China's west is still unbalanced and inadequate, which is a major challenge faced by the region. Governments at various levels have rolled out measures to promote more balanced economic development and improve the business environment to attract more investors.
"We will break down all kinds of invisible barriers to create a level playing field for private enterprises, and cut taxes and administrative fees so they can go forward with fewer burdens," said Liu Ning, governor of Qinghai province.