Question 1. Can you tell us a little about your city in terms
of location in China, population, standard of living, industries, etc?
Weihai has a
population of 2.5 million and a total area of 5400 square
kilometers. As one of the most developed areas in north China, Weihai
achieved a GDP of $8 billion and GDP per capita of $3,070
in 2001, which was the highest in Shandong Province and the same as
Weihai is in Shandong province of China and is located
on the east end of Shandong Peninsula. Being on the same latitude as
San Francisco in the United States, Weihai is surrounded by sea on
three sides, facing Liaoning Penisula
to the north and the Korean Peninsula and the Japan Islands to the
It is the “doorway” to Beijing and Tianjin, thus bearing the name of
“coastal front of China”
There are four major industries in Weihai:
Marine aquaculture and fishery: Weihai is
largest base for marine aquaculture and fishery. This accounts
for 25% of
the City’s GDP.
Question 2. How
does your city compare to other Chinese cities in terms of economic
development, unemployment, educational qualification of the workforce,
average wages, GDP per capita and other basic measures of economic
and agricultural manufacturing: There
are more than 10,000 small and medium sized companies that are engaged
in industrial and agricultural manufacturing. Weihai is the largest
manufacturing base for products such as tires, auto crankshafts,
fishing tackle and carpenter machinery. In addition, Weihai is well
known for manufacturing high-speed fax, printing machines,
cable, polymer medical appliances, airport equipment, leather shoes,
agricultural vehicles and fruit processing.
Wehai is known throughout China as one
of China’s premier tourist cities. Weihai has a lot of
spots and historical sites and received about 8 million tourists in
It is extremely popular for tourism during summer time and boasts huge
potential for tourism development.
and exports: Weihai is one of the earliest
trade ports in northern China. It has linking shipping service with
major ports in northern China such as Tianjin, Qingdao and Dalian
Additionally, Weihai has cargo and passenger ship service
to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, etc.
Answer: Being one of the 50 cities that
have the strongest economy in China, Weihai’s GDP and local government
tax revenues have been growing at an average rate of 18.2% and 23.3%
respectively in the past 15 years.
Since Weihai does not have a lot of state-owned companies, it
has a very small number of people who are unemployed. In year 2002,
the total unemployment rate is 1.7% as compared with the average
unemployment rate of 3.9% across China.
Thanks to the city’s strong educational tradition, Weihai’s high school
students have achieved the highest scores in national college
entrance exams consecutively in Shandong province for the past 9 years.
In Weihai, there are Harbin Polytechnic University (Weihai), Shandong
University Weihai Campus, One Higher Vocational Institute and Higher
Technical College. There are also 20 foreign language schools and
many other educational training centers. Each year, there are
over ten thousand university or college graduates and ten thousand
graduates from vocational schools. Virtually all employees have
graduated from High School or higher. As a result, Weihai boasts
a high quality work force and its productivity has ranked first place
in Shandong province consecutively for the past 14 years.
Finally I would like to note that Weihai has the highest income of
urban residents and farmers in Shandong province in 2001. This
prosperity adds to the city and has helped to reinforce the city’s
Question 3. What
are the major industries in your city and which sectors of business do
you feel that Weihai companies both have demonstrated their ability to
compete and their cost advantages vis-à-vis other areas in
China? Also which new sectors do you for see generating the most
growth in the years ahead?
Answer: Marine aquaculture and fisheries,
auto parts industry, tourism and biotech production are currently are
our key industries. We see bio-tech and the high-tech industries
as being further future engines of growth.
Question 4. If
you were to give five reasons for a company to consider establishing a
factory or a business office in your city, what would those reasons be?
Livability, clean and beautiful environment, golfing (Weihai
has four of these) and other recreational sports near beaches.
Close to the developed economies and markets such as Japan and South
Korea in North Asia
3) International ports, convenient marine transportation and
convenient air access via two neighboring airports
Two well-known Chinese universities have two huge campuses near
beaches, providing talents and trained professionals,
Well trained leaders at the municipal government. The city has several
leaders who have studied or worked in North America.
Question 5. Weihai
is located in Shandong province and I know that Shandong is a leader in
both agriculture and the fishing industry in addition to having a large
and well developed manufacturing base, are both the fishing and
agriculture industries also important to Weihai and has Weihai used its
through its distribution system for both industries to help serve as an
export gateway to import overseas food and other items to China?
Weihai has imported a lot of production equipment from the United
States and Europe and is planning to distribute salmon, tuna and other
seafood to Beijing and Shanghai via its vast sales network across the
Question 6. I
understand that your city has developed or is in the advanced planning
stages of developing several incubators to help promote new industries
in Weihai. Could you tell us about these incubators and your
plans for new innovative means of growing new companies?
Answer: We have two incubators in Weihai
right now. One is run and sponsored by the government, the other is run
by a private company. Both will provide free offices for three years if
high-tech project meets the necessary qualifications. So far we have
50 start-up companies in the incubators. With the completion of another
15000 square meters of space, we are poised to accept more start-up
companies this year. An example of this is San Diego based
Genway, a biotech company, that is going to move its antibody
production center to the incubator in the next three months. We expect
more biotech companies will move a portion of their production function
to Weihai when our life science park is established here shortly.
Question 7. Your
city has been named for several years as one of the 500 most livable
cities in the world by the United Nations. Because of the quick
pace of industrialization in China, “livable” is not a term often used
to describe China’s major cities. What are the factors that make your
city so suitable as a place to live and work?
Answer: There are four factors.
Weihai has three cities under its juridiction, all of
them have received awards by the central government naming them as
being “China’s Exemplary Clean Cities”.
weather: Weihai has average temperature of 12 centigrade, which
means it is not hot in the summer and not cold in winter. Most beach
cities have high humidity, Weihai is the only city along the coast of
China that is comfortable and dry.
Weihai maintains strict protection of its green belt
of pine trees along the beach. It has invested huge sums of money and
built many parks along the beaches and throughout the city to give the
public access to green open spaces.
Services: Fast growing economy, low unemployment, low crime rate,
friendly neighborhoods, reasonable house prices.
Question 8. Having
visited your city, I know that in many ways you are one of China’s best
kept secrets in terms of both your environment and your economic
viability. What is your city’s plan as to how to continue your
economic development while still protecting your pleasant environment?
Answer: Promote venture capital
investments, establish venture capital funds with leading venture
capital companies in China, provide funding for high-tech projects from
North America and Europe.
Question 9. How
does the city go about competing with the bigger Chinese cities like
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou to attract investment and are their any
upcoming plans for investment conferences, trade fairs or other venues
that you could mention if readers were interested in learning more
about your city and the potential for business?
Answer: We have followed policies that do
Promote the unique non polluting industries that
will keep Weihai growing;
We also are
planning to host a major trade and investment conference in May for
companies interested in further exploring locating in Weihai.
Promote the concept of livability, create clusters
of low polluting industry and attract high tech companies to establish
offices, production centers and testing centers in Weihai.
Build a convention center and develop international
conferences and trade shows and continue to promote tourism.
Question 10. If
a company wanted to find out more about starting a business or building
a factory in your city, what would be the best route for him or her to
better research the potential? Also, saying a company wanted to
attend your upcoming investment conference how could he or she learn
now about Weihai to help better prepare them for their visit and for
meetings with you and your city team?
Answer: We have aligned with Runckel &
Associate to promote trade and investment between Oregon and
Shandong Province. You can visit the websites of both Weihai, www.weihai.gov.cn, and Runckel & Associates, www.business-in-asia.com,
to find out more about Weihai or call Runckel & Associates since
they are on your same time zone and can quickly respond with
information and guidance.
To save your valuable time and make your visit to China and to Weihai
as valuable as possible, we want to get you fully prepared before you
travel to Weihai. We therefore hope to exchange information with you
on many issues related to your plans for trade and investment and to
give you wide ranging knowledge on potential prices of land, labor,
utilities and many other issues that will help you to better hone your
business plan. We fully subscribe to the belief that the secret
success in business is good research and planning and we stand ready to
assist in everyway possible to make your visit to Weihai a success.