Shandong is one of the first groups of coastal provinces in China designated by the Chinese Government to open to foreign investment and trade. In 2001, the volume of its foreign trade reached US$28.96 billion, an increase of 15.9 percent from the previous year. This includes an export value amounting to US$18.13 billion, representing an increase of 16.7 percent or 9.9 percentage points higher than the national average, and an import value totaling US$10.83 billion, an increase of 14.5 percent.
There has been impressive changes with regard to the trade composition, with a new import-export business pattern taking shape, also involving foreign trade companies at the provincial, municipal and prefectural levels, and foreign-invested companies and enterprises authorized to carry on import and export business. They have established trade ties with more than 200 countries and regions in the world. The province`s major trade partners include Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Germany, Singapore, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, and Hong Kong, as well as those in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. Major export items include machinery, electronic products, cereals, edible oils, textiles, garments, medicine and handicrafts.
Mounting Overseas Investment
The province has made great efforts in the past decade or more to improve its investment environment to attract more foreign capital. In 2001, it signed 3,058 contracts involving the use of foreign capital, an increase of 11.9 percent over the previous year; the amount of contracted foreign capital was US$7.16 billion, an increase of 27.6 percent. The foreign capital actually used registered an increase of 11.4 percent to US$4.25 billion. Foreign investors came mainly from the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Taiwan. They include a group of international famous trans-national companies such as Suzuki, Toyota and Nishoiwai from Japan, Nestle from Switzerland, Siemens from Germany, Coca Cola, Nike and AT&T from the United States, Daewoo and Samsung from the Republic of Korea, and Volvo from Sweden. Of the top 500 corporations in the world, 91 have invested in the province.
While foreign capital has continued to flow, Shandong has also increased its own investment overseas. In 2001, the province set up 71 enterprises (organs) overseas, an increase of 31.5 percent from the previous year. Investment involved totaled US$ 140 million, an increase of 63.4 percent. Of these, US$110 million went into the processing business. Investment in these projects averages US$1.905 million.
Economic and Technological Cooperation
The past few years have seen Shandong make big progress in international economic and technological cooperation, and in contracting to undertake construction projects. In 2001, the province secured 1,580 new contracts for overseas labor service, involving a total of 21,000 people and valued at US$1.05 billion. The business volume completed added up to US$560 million.
There was also enhancement of the cooperative level. In the past, the province only got involvement in the construction projects that China undertook as aid to the recipient countries. Today, however, its international economic and technological cooperation has expanded to cover more than 20 trades, including farming, aquiculture, fisheries, road maintenance, mining, power engineering, machinery repair, computer software, medical insurance and catering. The geographical coverage extends primarily to southern Africa, the Middle East, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Holding Influential Exhibitions
As a major coastal province of China, Shandong has held a series of influential exhibitions in recent years. Major ones include the following:
Second APEC International Trade Fair held in June 1997 in the sea-bound city of Yantai,
Second APEC Technological Exchange for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises held in October 1998 in Yantai, Second APEC Investment Fair held in April 2001 in Yantai; and International Electronic Household Appliances Fair held in June 2001 in Qingdao.
29 Open Ports
Prior to the 1980s, Shandong had only the two open ports-Qingdao and Yantai. Today, however, the province has 29 ports open to the outside world, placing it second in the country in terms of number of open ports. They involve 14 Class A outlets, including 11 sea harbors and three airports, and 15 Class B ports, including seven sea harbors and eight land ones. A total of 14 international and regional air routes have been established, along with business ties with more than 450 harbors in some 140 countries. In addition, the province has opened eight land ports in Jinan, Weifang and Zibo.
The Qingdao Customs has opened 25 subordinate organs in the inland and coastal areas to supervise import and export business.
The PRC Shandong Entry and Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, set up in Qingdao in August 1999, is an organ directly under the State Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. It oversees quarantine and related work for animals and plants, and all imports and exports. Under it are 22 branch bureaus and 12 work offices. They combine to form a quarantine system composed of sea, land and air inspection systems.
Construction of Development Areas
Shandong now has 64 economic (technological) development areas, including six state class (three economic and technological development areas in Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai; two export-oriented processing zones in Yantai and Weihai, and one bonded zone in Qingdao), and 58 provincial class. In addition, the province has set up 13 tourism and vacation zones, including the State-class Shilaoren Tourism Vacation Zone. Since 1992, the province has constructed 11 high and new technological development areas, comprising five state and six provincial class ones.
Various kinds of development areas in the province created a combined industrial added value amounting to 47.43 billion Yuan in 2001, representing an increase of 41.8 percent over the previous year; produced annual financial revenue of 6.27 billion Yuan, an increase of 54.5 percent; and exported US$4.67 billion worth of products, an increase of 33.3 percent. Of the high and new technological development areas in the province, 408 high and new projects were approved, an increase of 40.7 percent. The high and new technological enterprises achieved an added value of 14.4 billion Yuan.
Projects Wanting Foreign Investment
Machinery and electricity, household appliance, metallurgical, light and textile industries, food processing, computer, ocean shipping, ocean fishing, agricultural planting and breeding, aquatic breeding and product processing, tree-felling and timber-processing, tourism, commerce, catering and restaurant, medicine and health care, finance and merchant-inviting, and construction.
Friendship Ties the World Over
Shandong has established friendship ties with 106 provinces (prefectures, cities, counties and districts) in 35 countries including Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea, France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden. This has proved to be a boon for the province to open wider to the outside world and expand exchange and cooperation in the economic, technological, scientific, educational, health and sports fields. This also makes it possible for the province to achieve still greater progress in economic and social construction, and international exchange and trade as well.
Foreign Provinces (Cities and Counties) with Friendship Ties with Shandong Province
South Australia (Australia)
North Holland (the Netherlands)
Quang Nam-Da Nang (Viet Nam)
Upper Austria (Austria)
East Sepik (Papua New Guniea)
La Libertad (Peru)
West Cape (South Africa)
North-Western Prov. (Sri Lanka)
Scientific And Cultural Exchange
Since the 1980s, Shandong has witnessed a flourishing of international exchanges in culture, art, education, science, technology, sports and health. As part of its culture exchange program, the province has held the Confucian Cultural Exhibition, Exhibition of Cultural Relics, as well as expositions devoted to showing kites, paper cuts, facial masks, New Year paintings, black pottery, calligraphy and other forms of folk art unique to Shandong. It has also organized acrobatic, Beijing Opera and singing and dancing performance tours abroad. Juggling Benches With Feet and Bicycling Skills, performed by the Shandong Acrobatics Troupe, won the "gold clown award" at the 10th and 21st Monte Carlo International Acrobatics Festivals. And the Kite Delegation of Weifang returned from attending the Italian Urbino International Kite Festival with the "gold kite award". The province has also played host to visiting foreign literary and art troupes.
In science and technology, Shandong has cemented exchanged ties with more than 30 counties and regions. For example, the province has signed a cooperative agreement with the UN Asian-Pacific Technology of Cuba, Holguin Province and La Habana Province of Cuba, the State Vegetables and Flowers Research Institute of Romania, and the Kana University of Canada. It has expanded cooperation with Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine by setting up Sino-Russian and Sino-Byelorussian hi-tech cooperation bases. Construction of the Sino-Ukraine Science and Technology Cooperative Base will begin soon. The province is currently negotiating with partners on more than 500 scientific and technological cooperative projects, including 80 that are either under construction or have gone into operation.
In the field of education, 99 universities, high schools and primary schools have established cooperative ties with 389 schools in 30-odd countries. Most of the schools of higher learning and polytechnics employ foreign teachers. Many of the universities and colleges are open to foreign students.
Shandong is also positive in exchanges with foreign countries in the fields of sports and health. Its medical teams sent to certain countries as part of an aid program have received warm feedback.
Various kinds of cultural festivals the province organized have a magnetic pull on overseas people and are a boon for the province to expand overseas exchanges.
Home to 500,000 Overseas Chinese
Shandong is one of the regions in China from where people migrated to other parts of the world earlier than elsewhere in the country. As early as the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC.), a fleet headed by XU FU sailed out of Shandong for Japan in search of an elixir of life. However, the large exodus of people of Shandong origin did not occur until the past 100 years. Statistics show there are more than 500,000 people of Shandong origin living overseas, mostly in the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan, India, Singapore and Indonesia. There are also some of Shandong origin living in Europe, Africa and South America. In HongKong and Macao, there are about 150,000 residents of Shandong origin. In the past, people of Shandong origin residing overseas lived on farming, operating restaurants or running a small business. Nowadays, however, many have begun to get involved in industrial production and trade. Some have cut a brilliant figure in the fields of science and technology, education and health; they include Dr. Ding Zhaozhong, the Nobel Prize winner and Madame Zhang Zhixiang, who used be US ambassador to Nepal. More than 120 overseas Chinese societies have established ties with Shandong. People of Shandong origin make contribution to countries and regions where they live and work, and serve as a bridge for cooperation.
In September 2000, Qingdao played host to the World Overseas Chinese Forum, the first high-level forum for people of Chinese origin in the world arena, and also the largest international exchange in the history of State overseas Chinese affairs.