Entrepreneurs to propel NE region's revitalization

Update: 2017-09-06
By: Liu Mingtai(China Daily)

The second World Jilin Merchants Conference, held from Aug 31 to Sept 3 in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, encouraged more entrepreneurs with ties to the province to help stimulate its future development.

Zhang Simin, chairman of the Jilin Merchants Association, called on the province's entrepreneurs to do more to facilitate local development.

"Jilin merchants are willing to do much more to maintain investment here and are seeking more business opportunities in the province," Zhang said.

One of the most important driving forces in the region's economic development and rejuvenation, the association, one of the organizers of the event, has brought in a number of investment projects with a total value of more than 184.43 billion yuan ($28.12 billion) since the first World Jilin Merchants Conference, held last year.

The association has more than 1.5 million members worldwide, who all either do business in Jilin or have worked or studied there.

Headquartered in Changchun, the association is positioning itself as a non-profit social group that helps its members to become involved in and support Jilin's socioeconomic development and economic revival.

The merchant association deals with its members' problems related to investment and business operations, by helping them voice their opinions and insights to various government departments.

In addition, it also promotes cooperation among its members, and safeguards their rights and interests.

The head of the Qingdao branch of the association, Gao Yanchen, said he has overseen investment of 10 billion yuan in environmental economic projects in Jilin.

Ma Weidong, head of the Laos economic and trade delegation, said during the first World Jilin Merchants Conference that he was investing 15 million yuan in the pensions industry in his hometown, Baishan city in southeastern Jilin province.

"Local elderly people will see improved services as a result of my investment," he said.

He also plans to work with travel agencies in the Changbai Mountain area to boost tourism, drawing on his experience running a tourism company in Laos.

According to statistics from the provincial government, Jilin merchants have invested in all 31 of China's mainland provinces, as well as Taiwan, Macao and Hong Kong. They also have businesses operating in at least 36 countries.

During the conference, Xu Lejiang, vice-minister of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that Jilin's entrepreneurs are among the most important parts of the province's business history and are playing an essential role in the industrial transformation and upgrading of Northeast China.

"With Jilin's long history in industrial manufacturing, its geographic advantages and the Chinese government's investment in Northeast China's infrastructure and industrial upgrading, Jilin's merchants should continue to play a leading role in terms of economic growth, industrial restructuring, employment and the improvement of people's lives," Xu said.

Party Secretary of Jilin Bayin Chaolu also called on the Jilin Merchants Association to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, to unite all Jilin merchants in making a more substantial contribution to the province's economic development.

Entrepreneurs to propel NE region's revitalization