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INTERVIEW: China's Go West Policy - Opportunities in Chengdu and Xi'an

David Basmajian September 03, 2010

With the support of dedicated leadership, ambitious planning and strong financial incentives, the first ten years of the China Western Development program, or the “Go West” campaign, has yielded impressive results. As the second decade of the campaign begins, the successes of Beijing’s ambitious strategy have created a strong foundation for continued growth.

In response to tax and investment incentives and growing local market demand, many multinationals have set up shop in major western cities like Chengdu, Chongqing and Xi’an. Projects like Intel’s assembly and testing facility and Motorola’s research and development center in Chengdu will support the growth of new industries utilizing innovation and technology. The landscape of western cities is being further transformed through the arrival of auto companies, retailers and luxury brands looking to benefit from consumers’ rising spending power. After a decade of high gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates and rising foreign investment, officials from the West are dedicated to improving life for their citizens and becoming modern, world-class cities.  In Shanghai to speak as part of AmCham Shanghai’s Expo Provincial Government Forum series, Chengdu Mayor Ge Honglin and Xi’an Deputy Mayor Han Song recently sat down with Insight to discuss China’s Go West campaign and their plans for achieving sustainable growth and development in west China.

China's Go West Policy
In 2000, the Go West campaign was launched by the central government to develop and modernize China’s vast interior and western regions. The policy seeks to bridge the gap between the economies of China’s coastal regions and western China by developing infrastructure, attracting foreign investment, increasing environmental protection, promoting education and retaining a high-skilled labor force. Through favorable tax and investment incentives, Go West has produced massive investment in interior infrastructure including airports, highways, power grids and high-speed rail. These investments have paved the way for the arrival of new industries and foreign firms.  As wages and property prices continue to rise in China’s coastal cities, more companies are looking west to host new operations and investment.

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