The coastal city of Xiamen in East China's Fujian province is one of the country's first special economic zones, and has witnessed sharp growth in economic development since its establishment in 1981.
Statistics show that in 2021, the city reported a total foreign trade of 887.65 billion yuan ($140.64 billion), hitting a record high and accounting for 44.3 percent of Fujian's total amount.
Over the past 40 years, Xiamen has experienced four stages since its establishment as a special economic zone, and it has taken full advantage of its comparative strengths in each stage. The city has turned it from a seaside town to a flourishing metropolis.
Chen Yingdeng, a Chinese Indonesian businessman, decided to set up a floor tile factory in Xiamen after a visit to his ancestral home in the province in 1982. Chen invested $4.42 million to establish the Xiamen Yinhua Floor Tile Factory Co, Xiamen's first project established with foreign investment that is still running today.
Blessed with unique regional and policy advantages, Xiamen has become an ideal investment destination for a slew of Fortune Global 500 companies such as technology and engineering company ABB, and computer hardware manufacturer Dell.
ABB's Xiamen factory, which was a small factory with about 100 staff members in 1992, has developed into one of the company's most important manufacturing bases across the globe.
Zhao Yongzhan, president of ABB China, said that it is Xiamen's supportive policies and sound business environment that have attracted the company to increase its investment in the city.
Xiamen has also accelerated its pace to tap into the global market. Selfie app operator Meitu Inc, which was founded in Xiamen in 2008, has expanded its business to more than 100 countries and regions around the world. Statistics show that by the end of June 2021, Meitu had more than 998 million overseas users, among whom 246 million were monthly active users.
Official data show that as of the end of 2021, Xiamen has implemented 1,581 outbound investment projects in 74 countries and regions, and "Made in Xiamen" products have been sold to more than 220 countries and regions.