In just the last few months, my firm has seen a huge upsurge in companies seeking either to start their China businesses in Dalian or setting up an additional outpost there. Our clients are looking to Dalian for both manufacturing (much of it maritime related) and for high tech. To sort of quote renowned philosopher, Paris Hilton, Dalian is like HOT.
The following six things combine to make Dalian one of China’s hottest cities for business:
1. Dalian is Liaoning Province’s second largest city (after Shenyang), but its largest port. Dalian port is the third largest port in China overall and the first largest for petroleum.
2. It is an eminently “livable city.”
3. Its former mayor, Bo Xilai, is was China’s Minister of Commerce and he is now a Politburo member of the Central Committee and Party Secretary of Chongqing]
4. It is benefiting from Beijing’s policies of encouraging high tech and encouraging the rehabilitation of its Northeast industrial region. Intel recently chose Dalian as the location for its first Asian chipset plant. Dalian has long been an outsourcing center and it is often referred to as China’s Bangalore.
5. IP protections are decent and there are plenty of good local lawyers.
6. Xinhua recently did a story on China’s plans to make Dalian the shipping, logistics center in NE Asia by 2020 so as to “facilitate the forging of a free trade zone of China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan” and make Dalian’s port as prominent as Busan in Korea and Yokohama in Japan. Dalian’s mayor, Xia Deren, is proposing a free trade zone composed of China, Korea and Japan.
Just about everything is pointing to a bright future for Dalian.