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Multinational Firms Flock to Chongqing Liangjiang New Area

With a GDP growth of 14% in the first half of 2012, Chongqing became a highlight of economic development in China. Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, the first of its kind in inland China, hit a GDP growth of 18% in the first half. As the 7th Annual Session of Chongqing Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Council (CMIA) kicked off on September 23, the area attracted a number of the world’s top 500 enterprises, including Siemens, Honeywell and SK.

On September 21, Otis Elevator Company, a unit of United Technologies Corp., announced the opening of a new plant in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. The new facility, occupying 46,667 square meters, is operated by the company. It has an initial investment of over RMB100 million and the capacity to manufacture over 15,000 elevator units annually.

The huge west China market behind Chongqing and Liangjiang New Area is attractive for multinational firms. “We believe that the new factory in Chongqing will support our development in China. And our investment in this factory signifies our commitment to providing services to our customers in China and Asia for many years to come true,” said Pedro Baranda, Otis President.

On September 22, the next day after Otis opened its Chongqing plant, Meiwei Cheng, CEO of Siemens North East Asia, also visited the Area and held in-depth negotiations on medical equipment, logistics and building technology.

He is quite positive about the huge business opportunities that the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe Railway will bring by opening an international logistics corridor between inland China and Europe. Cheng says Chongqing, as the most dynamic city in west China, not only serves as an important potential market for Siemens, but also has a strategic significance for the company’s business development.

Also, Honeywell, the strategic partner of both Chongqing and Liangjiang New Area, deepened its cooperation with the Area by increasing investment. It has a long-standing partnership with Chongqing in investment and exchange, with its production base for friction materials, also the world’s largest one, going into operation in the Area in May, 2012. Then, on September 22, 2012, Honeywell and Chongqing Liangjiang New Area cooperated again, signing a strategic cooperation memorandum.

South Korean SK Group has started the construction of a new material industrial base of lithium-ion batteries with a total investment of US$100 million in Liangjiang New Area of Chongqing on Sept. 24, 2012. This project will realize an annual output of 9,600 tons of positive electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries and an annual output value of about US$670 million.

The above-scale industrial output value of Liangjiang New Area witnessed an increase of 33.8% and its total import-export volume saw a year-on-year growth of 310% in the first eight months of 2012.

During the same period, Liangjiang New Area attracted a total of 194 projects and 110 Fortune 500 enterprises, and utilized foreign investment of US$1.256 billion.

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