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MARCH 2012 |www.opp.org.uk


OPP CHINA


has been overtaken economically by cities like Suzhou and Wuxi in recent years, leaving it only third in Jiangsu. Nonetheless, Nanjing has been developing its economy, commerce, industry, as well as city construction apace. However, Nanjing is known as one of “China’s three furnaces” for its near-intolerable summer climate. A posh summer retreat is an obligatory acquisition for Nanjing’s well-healed. International summer properties, of course, have become de rigueur since China’s great opening up. Suzhou is one of China’s foremost cities for foreign investment, thanks to its proximity to Shanghai and lower operating costs. Major industries include iron and steel, IT and electronic equipment manufacturing, and textile products. After Shanghai, Suzhou possesses the second largest industrial city in China, and is home to 27 listed companies. Substantial improvements in infrastructure will continue to benefi t Suzhou; these include a high-speed railway between Suzhou and Shanghai, a light rail line linking the two cities’ subway system, and a Suzhou metro line. Local vendors of international real estate are confi dent that, rather than keep Suzhou’s population put, advancing infrastructure and concomitant rising incomes will drive overseas home sales in the city. Located in China’s wealthiest


region, Wuxi is a main light industry centre, leading the nation in textiles, apparel, electronics and other consumer products. With a substantial heavy industry sector, Wuxi is also home to iron, steel, IT, high tech, and recently, solar energy equipment industries. The city sees comparatively stronger


LETTER FROM BEIJING | 25


Fast grower | China’s provinces are seeing GDP growth across the board. Guangdong, Jiansu and Shandong lead the way.


investment growth that in most coastal cities. The people of Wuxi have been famed for centuries as China’s most business savvy, to the point that Mao made a point of purging the city fi rst at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. If a deal makes sense, and makes money, a Wuxi investor will grab it. Expect plenty of questions and a quick close.


Shandong province Recent data show Shandong’s GDP came in at RMB4.5 trillion (US$711 billion) in 2011. Shandong boasts a


Facts about China


• China consumes 53% of the world’s cement... and 48% of the world’s iron ore... and 47% of the world’s coal... and the majority of just about every major commodity


• China’s economy grew 7 times as fast as America’s over the past decade (316% growth vs. 43%)


• China’s GDP per capita is the 91st-lowest in the world, below Bosnia & Herzegovina


• If he spent his ENTIRE YEARLY INCOME on housing, the average Beijing resident could buy 10 square feet of residential property


• By 2025, China will build enough skyscrapers to fi ll TEN New York-sized cities


• “[By 2025,] 40 billion square meters of floor space will be built -- in five million buildings. 50,000 of these buildings could be skyscrapers -- the equivalent of ten New York Cities.”


strong food manufacturing and processes industry, focusing on vegetables and seafood. Additionally, the province has a strong excavating and energy industry related to coal and oil.


Its high tech industry has been growing quickly as well, with local government championing this sector, particularly the development of computers and networking software. The province also benefi ts from a large consumer market and notable South Korean investment and tourism directed at Shandong’s peninsula. Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, is still largely an industrial city. While incomes have taken off, infrastructure, especially shopping and schools, have failed to develop. Qingdao has logged one of the fastest


GDP growth-rates among cities in China during the last decade. Qingdao’s economic success has been bolstered by fl ourishing local business and large foreign direct investment, due in part from geographic proximity to Japan and Korea, and cultural ties as a former German colony.


Qingdao is also a signifi cant coastal


port city, with the country’s fi fth-largest and the world’s seventh-largest seaport. Qingdao is renowned in China as fi lled


with tycoons from other areas who have bought homes there for both the fresh air and the high quality of life. Income consumption levels of all residents are signifi cantly higher than any other area save perhaps Beijing and Shanghai. Furthermore, their historic and current international orientation bodes well for willingness to invest overseas. Dongying, located around the mouth of the Yellow River, is a prefecture-level city on the northern coast of Shandong province in Eastern China. Dongying’s economy has grown signifi cantly in recent years, refl ecting the overall development of China’s economy.


Its population is equal to that of Boston USA, yet its infrastructure lags even that of Jinan’s Home buyers there want to escape an environment that has failed to rise with their income levels. Canadian real estate is particularly popular here, thanks to a signifi cant number of Canadian companies that have joint-ventured in Dongying. The Chinese market comprises much more than Beijing and Shanghai, and those with the mettle to explore these regions will fi nd Chinese investors that are much more eager to hear your message.


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