Archive for ‘Changsha’


Factbox: China, Africa to embrace closer economic, trade ties

BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) — China and African countries will see more intimate economic and trade ties as the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will open on June 27 in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province.

A total of 53 African countries have confirmed to attend the expo, and international organizations including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Food Programme and the World Trade Organization will also send representatives to attend the event.

Here are some facts and figures revealing the growing vitality of trade between China and Africa as well as broader economic exchanges.

— China has been the largest trading partner of Africa for 10 consecutive years.

— In 2018, trade volume between China and Africa amounted to 204.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 20 percent year on year.

— China’s imports of non-resource products from Africa have increased significantly. In 2018, China’s imports from Africa went up 32 percent year on year, with the imports of agricultural products up 22 percent.

— China’s exports of mechanical, electrical and high-tech products accounted for 56 percent of its total exports to African countries.

— China has finished the negotiations of a free trade agreement with Mauritius.

— More than 3,700 Chinese enterprises have been set up in Africa by the end of 2018, with combined direct investment over 46 billion dollars.

— China’s financial institutions have established more than 10 branches in Africa.

— South Africa and seven other countries have included the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), or the yuan, in their foreign exchange reserves.

— China has formed RMB clearing arrangements with Zambia and signed currency swap agreements with four African countries including Morocco.

Source: Xinhua


BRI to address global infrastructure imbalance: AECOM

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) — The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be an efficient way to address the imbalance in global infrastructure development, according to U.S. engineering firm AECOM.

Under the BRI, financing platforms including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund have emerged, which will help narrow the development gap, said Ian Chung, chief executive of AECOM for Greater China.

“The BRI is an opportunity for all. It is open, inclusive, and will bring economic development to the next level,” Chung told Xinhua.

According to Chung, countries and regions of different development phases can all benefit from the BRI, especially in infrastructure.

For developing economies, such as some in Africa, the BRI will significantly improve local infrastructure connectivity and boost economic growth, Chung said.

For fast-growing economies such as some in Southeast Asia, Chinese firms could share their experience in high efficiency and green construction via the BRI to meet the rising demand for sustainable infrastructure, he said.

As for many other developed countries, the demand for infrastructure still abounds, as many existing facilities are becoming aged, he added.

The BRI has opened plenty of opportunities for AECOM, as the company has been partnering with Chinese firms on many overseas projects, offering consulting services on design, local regulations, environmental and safety standards.

“Chinese firms excel in construction and financing, while we share a competitive edge in project design, knowledge of local regulations, procedures as well as culture. It’s a win-win for all of us,” Chung said.

Seeing business opportunities from the BRI, the company set up a new department in its Beijing office three years ago to work with Chinese firms on BRI projects.

The firm just opened its new offices in Chengdu and Changsha, following the set-up of its China headquarters in Shanghai last year, another sign that shows the company’s confidence in China’s development, Chung said.

“I am very optimistic that we will have more value-added cooperation with Chinese firms under the BRI,” Chung said.

Source: Xinhua


China-EU tourism cooperation receives boost, official says

BRUSSELS, April 6 (Xinhua) — China-European Union (EU) relations in tourism get a boost as the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year has scored a success, an official recently said.

During the tourism year, China and the EU held more than 100 promotional activities. It “has been extremely successful,” said Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission (ETC).

There was a 5.1-percent year-on-year increase in Chinese arrivals in EU destinations in 2018, and among the top ones in terms of the volume of Chinese arrivals were Britain, Germany and France, according to the latest figures from the ETC and the air travel analysis agency ForwardKeys.

“We continue to see the benefits in 2019,” Santander added. “The growth in Chinese travellers has been solid, and the near future, judging by current bookings, will see the EU continuing to increase its share of this valuable market, not just to traditional destinations, but lesser-known and emerging ones as well.”

Chinese bookings to the EU for the first four months of 2019 are 16.9 percent ahead of where they were at the end of 2017, said the ETC, adding that this compares very favorably to the global trend, which is 9.3 percent ahead.

According to a recent report by China Tourism Academy and China’s online travel agency Ctrip, 70 percent of Chinese tourists in 2018 chose “package tours” when traveling in Europe, due to language, visa, culture and other factors.

Nevertheless, the proportion of independent and customized travel continues to rise. In 2018, the demand for customized European tours booked by the travel website increased by 127 percent over the past year, far higher than the growth rate of the overall market, said the report.

In addition, a number of new routes were launched between China and Europe in 2018, including direct flights from Fuzhou to Moscow, Changsha to London, Jinan to Paris, and Shenzhen to Brussels. In 2018, there were more than 600 flights a week between China and Europe, according to the report.

Ctrip in 2018 forecast that consumption of each tourist in Europe will exceed 25,000 yuan (about 3,721 U.S. dollars) in two years, with the total annual consumption to reach 150 billion yuan (about 22.3 billion dollars).

“Our findings confirm what a concerted effort to boost tourism can achieve. It also appears to have lasting effects, as we can see in the forward booking figures,” said Olivier Jager, CEO of ForwardKeys.

China’s domestic travel agencies are also deepening the cooperation with Europe. For example, the SkyScanner, Ctrip’s online travel search platform, set up its first overseas calling service center in Edinburgh in April 2018.

Source: Xinhua


China Focus: China to ramp up efforts to provide better elderly care

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) — As China is faced with a growing aging population, the government has pledged to provide better elderly care services and facilities for the silver-haired, and give a strong boost to domestic demand.

Elderly care remains high on the agenda in this year’s government work report, which said that significant steps would be taken to develop elderly care, especially community elderly care services.

The number of people in China aged 60 and above reached 250 million by the end of 2018, accounting for 17.9 percent of the country’s population.

“Growing demand will trigger greater market potential in China’s senior care industry,” said Tang Wenxiang, founder of Fullcheer Group, a major elderly care services provider based in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province.

Fullcheer Group has 50 branches in more than 10 provinces and cities with a total of 5,000 beds. Tang expects the number of his company’s beds to increase to 50,000 in five years.

“There is still a huge gap between the demand of China’s aging population and the number of elder care facilities,” Tang said.

The country will provide support to institutions offering services in the community like day care, rehabilitation care, and assisted meal services and outdoor fitness services using measures such as tax and fee cuts and exemptions, funding support, and lower charges for water, electricity, gas and heating, according to the government work report.

Tang said government’s measures to develop elderly care services greatly boosted the confidence of entrepreneurs who run businesses in the sector.

Developing the elderly care industry is good for improving people’s well-being and stimulating consumption, said Xu Hongcai, an economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

“Consumption on elderly care requires the supply of the elder care market, offered by both the government and the market,” he said.

A research report issued by Guolian Securities suggests that a string of policies have been carried out in China to encourage the participation of the social sector in the senior care industry, which will boost the country’s consumption in the health and medical sectors.

As China opens this sector, foreign firms such as France’s Orpea and Japan’s Nichii have tapped the elderly service market in China.

China still lacks leading players in the senior care market which includes nursing care, rehabilitation assistive devices and daily necessities for seniors, Tang said.

The long-term care insurance system will help increase the occupancy rate of some elderly services facilities given a number of elderly people can hardly afford the expenses, according to Tang.

Source: Xinhua

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