I’d never heard of Zhuhai until applying for my internship with InternChina, I was always under the presumption that coming to China meant going to one of the main cities, such as Beijing or Shanghai. I didn’t know where Zhuhai was, or what this city was all about, which is a major shame seeing as the moment I arrived, I fell in love with this place. Luckily though, the Chinese government see’s the potential of Zhuhai; with the winning tropical climate and the fantastic location of the city (on the border of Macau and a ferry ride away from Hong Kong), Zhuhai is slowly starting to edge it’s way onto the map.
Zhuhai is currently in the process of transforming from a relatively unknown city into a growing magnet for foreign investment. Fluor Corp, the American engineering and construction conglomerate, and Finland’s marine engineering Stalwart Wartsila are among the latest big-name companies to invest in Zhuhai. Also, amongst the list of european companies that have set up operations in Zhuhai include BP, Shell, Bosch, Philips, Schneider and ABB. Fluor’s investment formed part of a combined 35.5 billion yuan ($5.59 billion) investment by multinational and Chinese companies in 28 equipment-manufacturing projects in the city. A lot of the current investment comes after the introduction of the Pilot Free Trade Zone which was introduced into Zhuhai.
The China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Guangdong FTZ) was approved by the state council at an executive meeting held on 12 December 2014. It was then officially launched on the 21st April 2015, the Guangdong FTZ covers three areas: Nansha Area of Guangzhou; Qianhai-Shekou Area of Shenzhen; and Hengqin Area of Zhuhai. The main aim of this is to embrace Hong Kong and Macau to serve the mainland and open up to the world.
Speaking at the investment and trade symposium in late August, which showcased 200 Chinese and internationals companies, Zhuhai Mayor Jiang Ling said “Zhuhai is at the prime stage of its development and the city is anticipating an even rosier development prospect in the next decade,” Basing his upbeat forecast on the growing importance of Zhuhai’s position as an international gateway to the western Pearl River region, Jiang predicted the Hengqin Free Trade Zone would play an important role in improving the business environment.
Zhuhai is definitely a place to keep at the back of your mind when wanting to develop some good 关系 (guānxi) in China.
If you’re looking to break into the Chinese market but don’t know how, perhaps an internship in one of this countries 4 big cities can be a starting point, apply now!