Expo puts characteristic industries center stage

Updated: Jul 7, 2023 By Yuan Shenggao China Daily Print
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Businesspeople and officials visit the first Shanxi Investment Expo for Characteristic Towns. [Photo by Wang Ruirui for China Daily]

Less than 10 months after it launched a strategy to develop characteristic towns or counties with specialty industries, Shanxi hosted an expo dedicated to these towns, showcasing development achievements and helping them seek new cooperative partners.

The event, officially called the first Shanxi Investment Expo for Characteristic Towns, was held in the northern Shanxi city of Datong from June 28 to July 2.

A total 92 provincial or city-level characteristic towns displayed their products and highlighted business opportunities at the five-day expo. Business representatives from across the country attended the expo to place orders and sign deals for cooperation with exhibitors.

The government of Shanxi announced its first batch of 10 characteristic towns in Sept 14, 2022, marking the inauguration of the development campaign in the province. In the months to follow, various cities in Shanxi announced their own city-level characteristic towns.

Developing towns, counties and districts with characteristic industries is a strategy in Shanxi which aims to create economic engines that accelerate high-quality industrial growth locally.

At the expo, these characteristic locales displayed their development over the past 10 months.

Representatives from Daixian, a county known for yellow wine, told visitors that the county has 11 projects related to the industry planned or under construction since September 2022. An industrial cluster encompassing grain farming, winemaking, sales and tourism is also under construction and seeking investors from across the country.

The county of Wanrong, which is known for its concrete admixture, was showing how a niche product can develop into an industry with great market and investment potential.

According to the county's representatives, the admixture, or additive agents in various forms, is used to closely bind cement, sand and gravel together to improve the performance of concrete in erosion resistance, heat insulation and strength.

The county is now home to 93 concrete admixture producers. They produce more than 1 million metric tons of products a year, with a combined output value of more than 4 billion yuan ($552.4 million).

Supported by 18 corporate technological centers and other research and development facilities, Wanrong's concrete admixture industry is among the strongest in China, with products sold throughout the country and to more than 30 countries and regions worldwide.

The county aims for the concrete admixture industry to exceed 600 manufacturers and offer jobs to more than 100,000 people in the medium term.

Su Xiaochen, Yuan Zhaohui and Zheng Na contributed to this story.

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