Foreign Investment Grows in Chengdu

Authors: Jeremy Koh


The megacities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have always attracted the bulk of investments in China. But increasingly, foreign investors are looking elsewhere in the vast country for opportunities — the number of Singapore firms in Chengdu, for instance, grew from 299 in early 2013 to 384 by the end of 2014, a 28 percent increase.
Mr. Darrel Chua has had over 20 years of experience in in-flight entertainment. About five years ago, he ventured to China to develop mobile and in-flight entertainment content. But rather than start his business in the mega-cities of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, he opted for the western Chinese city of Chengdu.
President of Enveesoft Mr. Chua said: “Chengdu probably helps us save about 50 percent of labor costs, compared to Beijing and Shanghai.”
Mr Chua’s firm is among a rising number of Singapore-linked companies drawn to Sichuan province, where Chengdu is located in.
In June 2012, Singapore had a total of 454 projects in Sichuan, but this rose to 482 by end-2013 — a six percent increase. As of 2014, total Singapore investments in Chengdu reached US$650 million.
One of the most high-profile Singapore investments is the 1,000 hectare Singapore-Sichuan Hi-tech Innovation Park. It is the first large-scale Hi-Tech park jointly developed by Singapore and Sichuan.
CEO of Singapore-Sichuan Hi-tech Innovation Park Mr. Cui Wei said: “For the first 30 years, China’s reform and opening up was mostly in the coastal regions, but for the next 30 years, probably the western region will play a more important role.”
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