The Shandong government delegation led by Liu Jiayi (second from left), Party chief of Shandong province, visits Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea on Dec 2. [Photo/dzwww.com]
A Shandong government delegation led by Liu Jiayi, Party chief of Shandong province, embarked on a trip to South Korea and Japan on Dec 1.
In recent years, Shandong has established several important new zones, including the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Zone for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation in Qingdao and the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
The province has also been strengthening economic and trade cooperation with East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea.
A few days ago, an investor in Seoul, South Korea received a business license for her company in Shandong. This was the first business license issued by the Yantai Area of the Shandong FTZ overseas.
Unlike in the past, the investor was able to complete company registration entirely in South Korea, without having to travel to Shandong.
"We obtained the business license without any trips to China. The Shandong free trade zone offers very convenient and efficient services," said the investor.
To better facilitate China-Japan-ROK trade and investment cooperation, the Yantai Area of the Shandong FTZ assists foreign investors to complete company registration and submit application materials through WeChat and e-mail, helping lessen the effects of the language barrier and long-distance travel.
Shandong is seizing upon opportunities brought about by the free trade zone and building a new platform for economic and trade cooperation with Japan and South Korea.
"The Jinan Area of the Shandong FTZ now focuses on cooperation in medical care and software information services with Japan and South Korea. The Qingdao Area is positioned to cooperate in intelligent manufacturing related to energy conservation and environmental protection, while the Yantai Area will cooperate in new-generation information technology and component supporting sectors," said Jia Jiqing, an official from the Shandong Provincial Department of Commerce.
Shandong has a closer relationship with South Korea and Japan than nearly every other province in China. As early as 1989, a South Korean company started investing in Qingdao and became the first South Korean company to operate in China.
There are currently 4,247 South Korean companies investing in Shandong, including industry giants such as Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, and many small and medium-sized enterprises.
In the first 10 months of this year, Shandong approved 482 ROK-funded projects with an actual foreign investment of $430 million. The province has now approved a total of more than 24,000 ROK-funded projects and has received more than $40 billion in foreign investment from the country.
Shandong also enjoys close ties with Japan, which is the province's fifth largest trading partner and third largest source of foreign investment.
There are 1,379 Japanese-invested companies in Shandong, with a total combined investment of $11.5 billion.
Sumitomo Corporation, a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company based in Japan, recently set up a branch in Jinan. The company has positioned Shandong as its most important overseas market, and it will promote a number of new projects in the province related to health care, smart transportation, and sewage treatment.
Japan is also a popular investment destination for Shandong-based companies. According to official statistics, 262 Shandong enterprises and institutions have invested a total of $380 million in Japan.