Free Trade Zones

China’s central region takes on strong vitality

TAIYUAN, May 22 (Xinhua) – Central China’s provinces are on track for strong economic recovery through industrial transformation and greater openness while adopting effective COVID prevention and control measures. 19.

Central China, including the six provinces of Shanxi, Henan, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi, is one of the country’s fastest growing regions.

At the 12th Expo Central China 2021 Investment and Trade Exhibition in Shanxi Province, investors see greater opportunities.

The exhibit, scheduled for May 21-23, features 71 exhibits, forums and project matchmaking activities.

“This will help the central region to play an important role in establishing a new development paradigm,” Wang Shouwen, Chinese vice minister of commerce, said at a press conference.


The central provinces have recorded sustained economic growth in recent years. From 2016 to 2019, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the six central provinces grew from 16.1 trillion yuan (about US $ 2.5 trillion) to 21.9 trillion yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The regional permanent resident population, at 370 million, represents more than a quarter of China’s total. The region has abundant labor resources and a large consumer market, Wang said.

The central region’s transport network is developed with numerous land ports and airports, as well as rail, air and river transport, Wang noted.

“It has excellent geographic advantages in import and export, which enables foreign companies to meet the needs of the international market,” he said.

A transportation hub, Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, is located at the intersection of the national rail network. To strengthen its connection with European countries, the city has built an inland port to accommodate China-Europe freight trains.

The number of freight train journeys through the port increased from 13 in 2013 to 1,126 in 2020, with the value of freight rising from US $ 50 million in 2013 to US $ 4.3 billion in 2020, according to statistics.

“The central region has witnessed continuous economic development, increased vitality, improved infrastructure and more convenient transportation and has made overall progress,” Wang said.


The region has a capacity in some of the most sophisticated manufacturing industries.

Thin as a cicada’s wing, the ultra-thin precision stainless steel wide strip, or “hand-tear steel”, is a product of China Baowu Taigang Stainless Steel Precision Strip Co., Ltd. in Shanxi.

The steel is mainly used in the manufacture of flexible display screens, photovoltaic solar substrates, automotive airbags and high-end coating materials, said general manager Wang Tianxiang.

These products make foldable screens and cell phones lighter and more durable, he said.

Taking advantage of geographic advantages and resources, central China has expanded its production using new technologies and new business models.

Located in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, a 1,130 hectare intelligent electric vehicle industrial park is under construction. As planned, the park will be able to produce 1 million intelligent electric vehicles and 100 GWh of batteries per year, with an annual production estimated at 500 billion yuan.

After nearly 20 years of development, Hefei has become a key city in automobile manufacturing and established a complete industrial chain of intelligent electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, high-tech bases such as Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and a batch of advanced manufacturing enterprises including Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co ., Ltd. in Hunan are the results of industrial upgrading in the central region.

The aim is to use innovation as the main driver of development and stick to the path of green and low-carbon development, Wang said.


From 2006 to 2020, the import and export volume of the six central provinces increased from US $ 53.6 billion to US $ 387.3 billion. In real terms, the annual foreign investment attracted to the region rose from $ 3.42 billion to $ 7.94 billion, according to Wang.

Earlier this year, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting to discuss a directive on promoting high-quality development of the central region of the country in the new era.

The directive called for a new high-level opening system in China’s interior region.

Amid the booming trade with Belt and Road countries, more companies from the central region are going abroad to accelerate their integration into the Belt and Road Initiative.

3D printing software and products manufactured by Weistek (Shi Yan) Additive Manufacturing Technology Co., Ltd. have been used by educational institutions around the world.

In Hunan, pilot free trade zones are exploring policies to facilitate imports and cross-border e-commerce.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., one of the leading solar module manufacturers in Jiangxi, has established a production base and research and development center in Malaysia, and more than 80% of its 6,000 employees are local.

“We not only create a large number of employment opportunities, but also bring advanced technologies and research and development concepts in these fields,” said Qian Jing, vice president of the company.