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International trade cooperation sought at fair

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | Updated : 2020-11-19

Liaoning's geographical, industrial advantages continue to attract outside investment

Entrepreneurs and officials from China and abroad to attend the Liaoning International Fair for Investment and Trade held from Friday to Tuesday in Shenyang, seeking international trade cooperation.

Aiming to promote and share new development opportunities and open a new chapter for cooperation in Northeast Asia, the five-day event hosted a variety of activities incorporating bilateral trade talks among China, Japan and South Korea and industry matchmaking events.

According to the organizers, 137 projects were inked during the event, worth a total of 380.5 billion yuan ($57.84 billion).

Liaoning is the only province in Northeast China to have coastal, riverside and national border areas, giving it an advantage in opening-up.

Official data show Liaoning has attracted business and investments worth 1.5 trillion yuan over the past two years.

During the first three quarters in 2020, the paid in foreign investment in the province increased by 28.9 percent year-on-year.

Liaoning is a powerhouse in the industries of agriculture, marine economy, scientific education and culture, said Zhang Guoqing, Party secretary of the province.

Zhang called for giving full play to Liaoning's advantages and exploiting external resources and social capital to foster rapid development.

Data from the local government show the province is home to 155 colleges and universities and has 15 key national-level laboratories and 16 national engineering research centers.

Liaoning is a key entry and exit point for business with regional neighbors such as South Korea.

There are more than 1,000 South Korean companies investing in Liaoning. The province has become a key area for the economic cooperation between China and South Korea, said Jang Ha-sung, South Korea's ambassador to China.

Cooperation between the two countries has shifted from traditional industries to emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and medical health, Jang said.

Jang shared his hope that such cooperation can expand to more third-party countries and the Northeast Asia.

Home to the country's traditional industrial base, Liaoning has upgraded many of its industries and infrastructure for transportation, communication and electricity.

Song Yanlin, head of the Department of Commerce of Liaoning province, said holding LIFIT helps open a new window for developing the open economy of Liaoning and form a new engine for its economic growth as well as to inject vitality into the Northeast Asia economic circle.

The province has spared no effort in improving its business environment by providing high-quality services to companies.

Data from the Liaoning provincial business environment development bureau show the province has shortened review times for administrative affairs-especially for projects including governmental and social investments and communication infrastructure construction, required to complete within 65 days.

One of the beneficiaries is BMW Brilliance Automotive, which recently announced it is to export its locally-made iX3 cars to 39 countries and regions.

It took about two months to complete the export project from application to implementation, according to the company.

This achievement was attributed to the great support of Liaoning province, said Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China.

Since 2009, the company has invest 64 billion yuan in its Shenyang production base.

Some people have asked whether BMW will withdraw capital from the Chinese market, Goller said, adding that his answer is always no.

"We are investing in Liaoning and Shenyang; we will cooperate with Liaoning local government and contribute to its prosperity," Goller said.

The company will not change its investment plan and it has more confidence than ever before, Goller added.

Liu Jiren, chairman and CEO of Chinese technology conglomerate Neusoft, said some people haven't noticed Liaoning's location advantages.

Liaoning is an area with great value, which is in line with the economic development and the trend of industrial structure reform in the country, Liu said.

"Neusoft is rooted in Liaoning as it develops around the world."

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The Shenyang River sweeps around the downtown area of Liaoning province's capital city. [Photo by Sun Fuxing/for China Daily]

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An electric BMW iX3 is displayed at the Shenyang exhibition at the Liaoning International Fair for Investment and Trade. [Photo/China Daily]

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