Premier Li visits a transmission electron microscope laboratory at Intel Dalian on June 26.[Photo/China Daily]
Northeast China needs to deepen its reform strategy and continue opening up to lure investment from both domestic and overseas investors, so that the region can be fully rejuvenated, Premier Li Keqiang said as he wrapped up his three-day visit to Dalian, Liaoning province.
Premier Li was in Dalian from June 26 to June 28, attending this year’s Summer Davos Forum and engaging in conversation with global business leaders. He also visited the city’s free trade zone, as well as domestic and foreign businesses.
“Foreign and domestic investors must be treated on an equal basis, with equally convenient business procedures,” Premier Li said as he stepped up to a registration service window at the comprehensive service center in the Dalian FTZ.
The new FTZ was unveiled in April by the State Council, China’s Cabinet. It combines registration, administrative services and custom services in one place.
The city is a shipping hub in the region, as it is close to Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Russia.
Premier Li also visited Intel’s Dalian plant, one of the biggest sources of investment in the city since the company came in 2006.
The global information technology giant recently committed $479 million to expand the plant’s capacity, and is now transforming its key product from wafer fabrication to nonvolatile memory chips. In 2016, it allocated $5.5 billion for the project, which is said to be the largest foreign investment since the opening-up of the city.
Premier Li was at the cornerstone-laying ceremony when Intel Dalian began construction in the city a decade ago. He was serving as Party secretary of Liaoning province at the time.
During his visit to the company this week, Premier Li said he was glad to learn of its growth over the past decade.
“This proves that China is still a most attractive destination for overseas investment,” Premier Li said. He encouraged the company to bring further investment to China, especially for high value-added industries and service industries.
With China’s business environment improving and its enormous market potential yet untapped, China’s door of opening-up will only open wider, and it is nurturing business opportunities, Premier Li said. Overseas investors are welcome to seize the opportunity to build more research facilities and manufacturing sites in China and to enjoy the country’s rich pool of personnel, he added.
During his time in Dalian, Premier Li also paid a visit to Bingshan Group, a large refrigeration and air conditioning equipment manufacturer, which has undergone reforms of its mixed ownership since the early 2000s.
He also visited a private university specializing in IT technology training to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship development.
GDP growth in Liaoning last year was -2.5 percent, making it the only province whose economy shrank. But Dalian was the fastest-growing city in the province.