Shandong governor says huge potential for business with US

Updated: 2011-10-19 07:58

By Zhao Ruixue (China Daily)

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Shandong governor says huge potential for business with US

JINAN - Shandong province hopes to expand cooperation with the United States as the coastal province steps up efforts to set up special economic zones, said Governor Jiang Daming.

In an e-mail interview with China Daily before the China-US Governors Forum due to open on Wednesday in Beijing, Jiang said that he hopes to enhance relationships with US state and territorial governments.

"At the forum, I will talk with several governors, including those from Washington, Georgia and North Carolina, to seek more substantial cooperation in a wide range of sectors, especially in agriculture, services, newly emerging industries and high-end manufacturing research and development," Jiang said.

Jiang is expected to sign an agreement with his counterpart from Georgia at the forum.

The US is now Shandong's second-largest trading partner, Jiang said. In 2010, bilateral trade between Shandong and the US reached $26.55 billion, a year-on-year increase of 31.1 percent, and the volume was $19.88 billion in the first eight months of this year.

"An obvious feature of Shandong's trade with the US is that Shandong buys more from the US," Jiang said.

Last year, Shandong's imports from the US increased 50 percent, 26 percentage points higher than the growth rate of the province's exports to the US.

"The US is already a major investment destination for Shandong enterprises," Jiang said.

In the first eight months of this year, 27 Shandong-based companies decided to build facilities in the US, involving total investment of $340 million.

Currently, a $160 million project invested by Shandong Nanshan Aluminum Co Ltd to build a high-end aluminum alloy plant in Lafayette, Indiana, is well under way.

By the end of last year, 5,843 US companies, including 46 Fortune 500 firms, were doing business in Shandong, backed by investment totaling $6.94 billion, according to the statistics from Shandong Commerce Department.

Jiang said there is huge potential for economic cooperation with the US as Shandong steps up efforts to develop economic zones on the Shandong Peninsula and at the Yellow River.

"The peninsula's economic zone is China's first economic zone based on a maritime economy, and the Yellow River zone is intended to be an example of socially and economically sustainable development in China," Jiang explained.

As a coastal province, Shandong has a coastline of more than 3,000 km, one-sixth of China's total, as well as around 200 harbors.

Shandong has 60 percent of China's ocean research organizations, and is home to half of China's leading marine technology experts.

The output value from Shandong's fishery, salt processing, marine engineering and ocean power sectors has been the highest in China for several years, Jiang said.

The province's Yellow River zone is on the Yellow River Delta. The delta stretches over 528,000 hectares of unexploited land. At the same time, the river rejuvenates the landscape by carrying about 1.2 billion tons of silt, which is finally deposited in the delta area, forming 1,000 hectares of new land each year.

Shandong has rich natural resources. Its oil reserves total 5 billion tons and it has 230 billion cubic meters of gas.

China Daily

(China Daily 10/19/2011 page11)