Xiamen harbors the right mix for success
Xiamen, once commonly known as Amoy, is located on the southeast coast of China, facing the Taiwan Strait. The city was one of China’s first five special economic zones (SEZ), and consists of six districts – Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang, Tong’an and Xiang’an. The first two are located on the main island where the city was founded, while the others are new incorporated areas on the mainland. It is administered as a sub-provincial municipality of Fujian province with an area of 608 square miles and a population of 3.61 million and is among China’s fastest growing cities.
For a long time, Xiamen’s development was limited by politics because of its proximity to Taiwan (the Taiwaneseadministered Kinmen Islands lie less than 6 miles away). With improving cross-strait relations, the city is now booming. Dell, the world’s third largest personal computer maker by market share, has its regional headquarters here. The city’s deepwater port and mature infrastructure are deemed advantageous to the company’s direct sales and build-to-order business model. Other important industries here include machinery manufacturing and the chemicals sector.
Tourism remains a big revenue generator for this destination and it has also become an increasingly popular destination for meetings, incentive travel and trade events. According to the city’s hoteliers, Xiamen has become an alternative to Sanya for its lower hotel rates and abundance of offsite activity options.
The city has a long history as a business hub. During the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) it was one of the few Chinese seaports open to foreign trade. In 1842 the British made Xiamen one of the five Chinese treaty ports through the Treaty of Nanking. Today the deep water port is one of the most important in the People’s Republic of China. Xiamen is ranked the 30th largest container port among the world’s top 100, with the capacity to handle the sixthgeneration large container vessels.
Unless you have to visit industrial areas outside the main island, nowhere in Xiamen should take you more than a half-hour to reach. The road system is well developed, and waterfront areas have been put to good use for leisure purposes. The city is also peppered with green hills, parks and lakes.
Airports in China tend to be either huge in size but not substance, or simply basic. Xiamen airport, though, is clean, easy to navigate and seemingly well managed.