The harbour in Xiamen: one of the provincial cities in Fujian
From workhouse to poster child – the province of Fujian has a turbulent history. It is home to half as many people as Germany, but living in an area approximately the same size as the new German Federal States (the former GDR). Fujian lies in the south-east of the PRC, directly facing Taiwan and right next to the Pearl River delta with its conurbations around Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Its mountainous landscape and hard-to-reach valleys meant that this region was cut off from China's trade and economic development for many years. However, things have changed dramatically since the country opened up and industrialisation and global trade have increased. In particular, the province benefits from its proximity to Taiwan and is nowadays one of China's wealthiest regions. Many Taiwanese companies operate factories and production sites in Fujian. The area around the provincial capital, Fuzhou, in particular, is flourishing as a result.
Rates of economic growth are above the national average. In addition to the multitude of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), a number of well-known global players are also based in Fujian. For example, the battery manufacturer CATL comes from Ningde, a town to the north of Fuzhou. This company recent hit the headlines in Germany with its plan to invest up to 1.8 billion Euros in the construction of a plant to produce batteries for electric vehicles in Erfurt.
Foreign investments account for around one third of the province's economic output. In addition to coming from Taiwan, these investments come primarily from Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. German investment is still under-represented in this province.
Fujian has many things to offer German companies: a rapidly developing high-tech economy, excellent infrastructure, proximity to global growth markets and a range of incentives for overseas investors. These include free-trade zones and industrial estates.
The province has focussed strongly on the component supply industry, especially in the electronics sector and the information industry (for example LCD and laptop production) and the automotive industry. Other key economic areas are the petrochemicals, mining, and textile industries and mechanical engineering. In future, the province's focus will expand to include foodstuffs and new forms of energy, in addition to the continually expanding information sector. Wind power companies could benefit from this because Fujian's position on the Straits of Formosa gives it the ideal weather conditions for wind power generation, which have also inspired Taiwan to increase investment in wind power in recent years.
Informations: Invest in Fujian