Six provinces in China’s central region secured 406 investment projects with combined value totaling 483.51 billion yuan ($69.96 billion) during the recently concluded Expo Central China 2019.
The three-day expo, a major platform for the Central China provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, Anhui, Hubei, Henan and Shanxi to attract investment and cooperation with businesses from the rest of the country and the world, closed on May 20 in Nanchang, capital city of Jiangxi province.
The 406 projects included 51 invested in by overseas businesses, with total funding of $10.47 billion, according to the event’s organizers.
The projects cover a wide range of fields such as advanced manufacturing, new energy, new materials, electronic information, auto parts, chemicals, ceramics, textiles, garments, food, culture, tourism, agriculture, urban infrastructure, medicine and services.
The host province of Jiangxi signed agreements on 198 investment projects, with funding totaling 170.4 billion yuan. These included 28 foreign-funded projects, with combined investment of $1.8 billion.
An exhibition of cutting-edge products from Jiangxi and other Central China provinces took center stage at the expo.
In the aircraft exhibition area, airplanes and helicopters manufactured in Jiangxi were among the most eye-catching products on show.
Jiangxi is the only province in China that has the capacity to manufacture both fixed-wing planes and rotorcraft for both military and civil applications.
Its displays at the expo included the Little Blue Dragon — China’s largest drone in terms of load carrying capacity, which can be used for logistics, transportation, farm and forest spraying and police patrol.
Another eye-catching exhibit was the AC311 helicopter, a multipurpose aircraft that can be used for medical emergencies, power grid monitoring, police patrol, farm spraying, fire fighting and surveillance.
In the artificial intelligence area, a number of Jiangxi-made robots were exhibited.
A square-headed robot called Baoxiaomi proved popular, showing that it can offer a range of services including providing information, reception and exhibition guidance. Its multiple functions are made possible by advanced technologies including human facial and voice recognition, obstacle detection and automatic navigation.
In the electronic information area, a range of products including smart mobile terminals, digital audio and video equipment, displays and chips demonstrated the high level of manufacturing utilized by Jiangxi’s enterprises.
Expo Central China, this time in its 11th session, once again attracted the attention of domestic and overseas leaders from both political and business circles.
Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua attended the expo and delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony on May 18.
Other prominent figures attending the event included Somdy Douangdy, deputy prime minister and financial minister of Laos; Luis Hidalgo Okimura, governor of Peru’s Madre de Dios region; Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, as well as top leaders of the six provinces in Central China.
The attendance shows that the growing importance of the Central China region has been recognized by the international community, said Liu Qi, Party secretary of Jiangxi province.
Liu cited statistics, saying that the combined GDP of the six provinces reached 19.27 trillion yuan in 2018, accounting for 21.4 percent of the nation’s total.
“The Central China region is showing an increasing strength, with higher-than-national-average growth in industry, investment, consumer markets and foreign trade,” Liu said.
He said Jiangxi should grasp the opportunities presented in the national Rise of Central China strategy and other national strategies in its neighboring areas, to make it an important base for opening-up and a favored destination for investors.
The provincial Party chief told business representatives at the expo that they should pay close attention to Jiangxi’s potential fields for investment.
“We are implementing a new growth mode focusing on high-quality development, driven by innovation and high tech, and highlighting environmental protection,” Liu said.
“As a result, there should be bright prospects in such fields as new technologies, new energies and new facilities,” he added.
Laos Deputy Prime Minister Douangdy said this is the first time for his country to attend the expo and he hopes the event can offer an opportunity for the high-quality growth of Laos through fruitful collaboration.
He said China is the second-largest trade partner of the Southeast Asian country, with bilateral trade growing 14.9 percent to reach $3.47 billion in 2018. China is also the largest source of investment for Laos, with an accumulative inbound investment of $6.1 billion from Chinese companies.
He expected both sides to further enhance cooperation in such fields as agriculture, services and tourism.
“2019 is the Visit China-Laos Year and I hope more Chinese tourists come to our country,” said Douangdy.