Q: What do you consider as Chengdu’s main advantages?
A: First is the living conditions of the city. The average temperature is 17.2 degrees Celsius, so we enjoy a very mild climate, and 36.8% of the city is made up by forest. Those two factors create a pleasant atmosphere for our inhabitants.
Second, we have a Unesco world heritage site, and also we have the giant panda.
Third, due to developments in recent years, we have established high-quality living standards and urban conditions. We have good hospitals and international schools which lay very good foundations for international investment in the city. Chengdu is almost unique in its beautiful scenery and living conditions. We have been praised by the central government [of China] as the most liveable and the happiest city in the country.
Q: What is the logistics situation for Chengdu, and are there any plans to boost connectivity?
A: We enjoy a very good location with a strong position as a commercial centre. In the past, Chengdu has been considered as the gateway city to anywhere in China, but especially to the south-western part of the country, for commerce and trade.
The airport in Chengdu is the fourth largest in China. Chengdu is also the first and only city in the middle and western parts of the country that has two runways. At this moment, the international airport in Chengdu has 18 international direct flights, and by the end of this year we will add to this flights to Melbourne in Australia and San Francisco in the US. We have 11 non-stop cargo flight destinations around the world.
Also, Chengdu has the largest railway container station in Asia. This August, Chengdu will open a weekly cargo train to Germany, so that the products produced in Chengdu will reach Europe in 16 days.
Q: What factors do you think could attract investors to Chengdu?
A: One factor is the abundant human resources. Chengdu has 50 colleges and universities and 95 vocational training institutions, providing approximately 150,000 college and university graduates and over 100,000 technicians each year.
Another advantage in human resources is that the labour force is very stable in the city.
The next factor is that Chengdu has established a very complete financial services system, which is regarded as the biggest in the middle and western parts of China. In recent years, more and more financial institutions have poured into the city. The management bureau of the central government has set up many sub-branches in Chengdu and there are 57 banking outlets that have set up their offices or sub-branches in the city, as well as 44 brokerages. Additionally, 65 insurance companies have set up outlets or headquarters in Chengdu.
The next factor is our efficient government service. We have been working very hard to upgrade and improve the efficiency of the city's government services. Chengdu is now the simplest city in western China in which to set up a business.
Q: How would you summarise your key message to potential foreign investors?
A: Our understanding is that the future of China lies in the western development of the country, and the development of Chengdu is key to this. The focus of the world is on China, the focus of China is on the west of the country, and the focus of the west of the country is on Chengdu. So Chengdu is the focus of the focus!