More and more European businessmen are eyeing southwest China’s Chengdu city, hometown of the panda, as a favorable place to make an entry into China’s enormous market, according to participants at the fifth China-EU Investment and Trade Fair held from Oct 18 to 19.
Held on the sidelines of the 11th Western China International Fair, which runs from Oct 22 to 26 in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, the China-EU Investment and Trade Fair was aimed at promoting co-operation between China and the European Union in green industries such as new energy, biomedicine and electronic information.
Mads Tokehoj, chief executive officer of Montana Mobler A/S, a furniture company in Denmark, said his company had chosen Chengdu as the first place to sell their furniture in China.
“The high-end furniture markets in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai have already been fully developed, while Chengdu, whose population is bigger than that of Denmark, still has a huge untapped market,” said Tokehoj.
“I attach great importance to the purchasing power of the Chengdu-centered Sichuan market,” he added.
At the fair, more than 100 company representatives were seeking business opportunities at the inland city with 13 million residents.
“The fair allows European companies to know Chengdu better and makes them more confident about investing here,” said Dai Yiling, head of the Chengdu-based EU Project Innovation Center.
“Although we haven’t signed any deal yet, I talked with several companies from Denmark and Germany, and we will hold further talks on possible co-operation,” said Wang Xiangyang, manager of an electronic products company.
Chengdu was tipped by Forbes.com to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the next decade.
“Chengdu is abuzz with new construction, including an increasing concentration of high-tech companies, including Dell and Cisco. New plane, road and rail connections are tying the city to both coastal China and the rest of the world,” Forbes.com said in an article.
Still, there is a long way to go before Chengdu catches up with developed cities in terms of human resources, technology, etc, said Du Xiaomeng, an official with the municipal Commerce Bureau.
“We should stay cool-headed while developing Chengdu,” he added.