This article provides an overview of Shaanxi for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- Land area (2018): 205,800 sq km
- Population (2016): 38.13 million
- Provincial capital: Xi’an
- Gross Regional Product (2016): RMB 19399.59 billion
- Gross Regional Product per capita (2016): RMB 51,015
- Major cities: Xi’an, Xianyang, Baoji, Yulin, Tongchuan, Weinan, Yan’an, Hanzhong
Shaanxi province lies in the east of the northwest region of China and is bound on the east by Shanxi through the Yellow river; on the west by Gansu and Ningxia; on the north by Inner Mongolia; on the south by Sichuan and Chongqing; and on the southeast by Henan and Hubei. It has an extremely varied topography with the Loess Plateau in the north, the Guanzhong Plain in the middle and the Qinba mountainous area in the south. The Changjiang river and Yellow river flow through Shaanxi.
Shaanxi contributes 2.6 percent to China’s gross domestic product (GDP) with natural gas contributing 30.1 percent of the national output, followed by crude oil (17.5 percent) and coal (15 percent). The GDP of major cities in Shaanxi in 2016 were: Xi’an – RMB 6282.65 billion; Tongchuan – RMB 311.61 billion; Baoji – RMB 1932.14 billion; Xianyang – RMB 2390.97 billion; Weinan – RMB 1488.62 billion; Yan’an – RMB 1082.91 billion; Hanzhong – RMB 1156.49 billion; Yulin – RMB 2773.05 billion; Ankang – RMB 842.86 billion; Shangluo – RMB 692.13 billion; Yangling – RMB 119.20 billion.
Some of Shaanxi’s major cities include Xi’an, Xianyang and Baoji.
Shaanxi’s capital city, Xi’an is known as China’s ancient capital. It has abundant cultural and historical assets and has now become an IT powerhouse with the majority of the province’s software enterprises being located here. Xi’an is also the leading city of China’s Western Development Drive Programme since the 1990s and an important economic, cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region equipped with modern and convenient facilities.
Xianyang is located in Guanzhong Plain with the Weihe river in the south, Zongshan Mountain in the north, Xi’an city to the east and Yangling High-tech Agricultural Demonstration Zone in the west. It is the first stop of the ancient Silk Road in China and has a history of more than 2,350 years. Due to its good transportation location, Xianyang is the new hub for the state dimensional transportation net. Xianyang International airport is one of the six large air harbours in China and the biggest air harbour in west China and inland export harbour. It is one of the important industrial cities in north-west China, the largest electronic industrial base in north-west China and an important base for energy, chemical and light industry. It has formed an industrial system with nine industries – energy, chemicals, textiles, electronics, machinery, food, pharmaceuticals, building material and logistics as a supporting industry – which has laid a strong foundation for its future development.
Baoji is the second biggest city in Shaanxi province. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and is located in a valley opening out to the east. Part of the ancient Northern silk route, Baoji is now one of the communication hubs of the province that links up China. It is an important industrial base specialising in equipment manufacturing. It is also one of the most important production bases for commodities such as Qinchuan cattle, Chinese red pepper and kiwi fruit. It has been selected by the central government to be one of the sub-central cities in the development of Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone.
Data Source: Shaanxi Statistical Yearbook 2017[^14]
Shaanxi is developing four industry sectors: equipment manufacturing, high-tech industries, energy and chemicals, and traditional industries such as food processing. As for the service sector, its focus has been on tourism and cultural industries, logistics and finance. A major agricultural base, it is China’s leading producer of grains, vegetables, cured tobacco, apple and Chinese chestnut and a major production and processing centre for fruits. The abundance of natural reserves such as coal, natural gas and oil has made Shaanxi an important energy production base with a well-developed electricity generation and a sizeable iron and steel making sector. It is a national centre for research and production in aviation, aerospace, equipment manufacturing, electronics and agriculture. It also has an emerging pharmaceutical industry and a production centre of traditional Chinese medicine.
Hong Kong was Shaanxi’s largest export market in 2016 accounting for 22.2 percent of the provinces total export. Other major export markets included the United States, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Major exports include agricultural products, minerals, textiles and garments, metals and metal products, electrical and mechanical equipment, and transport equipment. Shaanxi imported mainly electrical and mechanical equipment and chemical products with its major sources being Taiwan, the United States, South Korea and Japan.
In 2016, the foreign direct investment (FDI) in Shaanxi amounted to US$5 billion, with 60.6 percent attributed to the manufacturing sector. The lead foreign investors were Hong Kong, which accounted for 38.2 percent of the utilised FDI while South Korea accounted for 33.2 percent.
Data Source: Shaanxi Statistical Yearbook 2017[^17]
Shaanxi’s per capita disposable income of urban households in 2016 was RMB 28,440 with the largest consumer centre being Xi’an. It accounted for 51.1 percent of the province’s total retail sales.
Shaanxi has a number of historical sites especially in the ancient capital Xi’an. Some of the popular sites include the terracotta army, Lantian Ape Man, Xi’an Forest of Steles, Wild Goose Pagoda and Huaqing Pool as well as the landscapes around Mount Huashan.
Singapore and Xi’an
Singapore and Xi’an have good bilateral ties. Electronic products, high-tech products and raw chemicals are the key products traded between Singapore and Xi’an. Singapore is one of its largest investment partners with Singapore companies having invested USD 1.4 billion in 150 projects in Xi’an at the end of 2016. The key industries of investment were urban infrastructure development and industrial park development, transport and logistics facilities, tourism infrastructure and service and modern services industry.