Regional Development

Central China 'great' place for MNCs to invest

Updated: Jun 5, 2024 By ZOU SHUO in Changsha China Daily Print
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Visitors check out an eVTOL aircraft during the Expo Central China 2024 in Changsha, Hunan province, on Friday. [GU PENGBO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China's central regions offer vast opportunities for multinational companies to invest and do business, attendees to the Expo Central China 2024 said.

Held in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan province, the expo attracted more than 200 multinational firms, and over 1,000 businesses from 32 countries and regions, according to the organizers.

A total of 284 project deals worth over 250 billion yuan ($34.5 billion) were inked at the expo, with eight of those projects involving foreign investment, official data showed.

China's central region, known for its agriculture, energy and equipment manufacturing industries, is speeding up the construction of a modern industrial system.

It is also coordinating the transformation and upgrade of traditional industries, nurturing and developing emerging industries, and planning for future industrial development.

Chen Wen, vice-president of the Italy-China Chamber of Commerce, said China's central regions offer great opportunities for Italian enterprises.

Due to the growing consumer market and rising demand for high-quality products and services in the country, Italian companies can make good use of their expertise in manufacturing, design, fashion, automotive, food and beverages, Chen said.

"The cooperation and partnerships between Italian and Chinese businesses will bring mutual benefits. Italian companies have unique advantages in technology, design, and quality, while the central regions of China possess vast markets and superior geographical conditions, offering tremendous potential for collaboration," he said.

Yang Yi, a director at Walmart (China) Investment Co Ltd, said the retail chain has opened 16 supermarkets, two membership stores and a logistics center across the province. Walmart entered Hunan in 2003.

Central China is a strategic market for the company and it wants to promote and strengthen cooperation with another five provinces, Yang said.

Hunan has a favorable geological position and good business environment, and the local government has greatly facilitated the company in opening and operating stores in the region, he added.

A total of 211 Fortune 500 companies have invested in Hunan as of last year. Meanwhile, the province is home to more than 2,900 foreign companies with annual business revenue reaching 376 billion yuan, according to the local government.

In 2018, the China headquarters of Zurich Insurance Group was established in Changsha.

Wang Xueli, head of its China branch, said the local business environment, infrastructure and economy have improved over the years.

The local government in Changsha has created an international community center for the company, hiring community workers with overseas work experience to service its foreign employees, Wang said.

China's central regions have abundant human resources, education resources, convenient transportation and great potential for economic growth, he said.

"We want to gain more opportunities for investment and cooperation by participating in the expo, so that we can settle down in central China, which is a place worth long-term commitment."

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