Xi­a­men har­bors the right mix for suc­cess

Business Traveler (USA) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

First Im­pres­sions

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.

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