Foreigners start businesses in Changsha

Updated: 2018-09-03

Foreigners start businesses in Changsha

Wilson (R2) and Li Na (R3) discuss entrepreneurship in Changsha. [Photo by Wang Bin/]

More than 50 expatriates have set up over 30 enterprises with a turnover of $16 million in the Foreign Trade Startup Base for Overseas in the Changsha Jinxia Economic Development Zone since it opened two months ago.

The startup base was built as a public service platform for foreign entrepreneurs, encouraging them to make use of their natural advantages in terms of language and culture to start their own businesses and drive the growth of Hunan's foreign trade.

Wilson, an Ecuadoran who used to study at Hunan University, opened a design company in Changsha to design industrial products for Changsha enterprises to export to Latin America. Wilson recently took a $30 million order of electricity meters made in Changsha and brought Changsha electronic products to a foreign market. He also set out to introduce Latin American agricultural products to the Chinese market.

Long Ai, from Lahore, Pakistan, sold rice from his hometown in China via the startup base. He is now connecting with agricultural machinery and building material enterprises in Changsha through the startup base and Jinxia E-Commerce Logistics Park.

Li Na, a young lady from Cameroon who wants to sell agricultural products to Africa, rushed to the startup base for consultation.

Based on the Belt and Road Initiative, Foreign Trade Startup Bases for Overseas will look for a new model that allows local enterprises to focus on innovation and production, and puts the startup base in charge of product sales.

According to Changsha customs, Hunan's exports rose 31.5 percent to 82.11 billion yuan ($12.03 billion) in the first half of 2018, while imports rose 31.8 percent to 48.31 billion yuan. With the increase in investment in infrastructure construction in countries along the Belt and Road, Hunan's imports and exports to those countries reached 34.22 billion yuan in the first half of the year, up by 53.9 percent.

By the year 2022, the Changsha Foreign Trade Startup Base for Overseas will begin implementing trade channels in countries along the Belt and Road, cultivate 500 competitive foreign trade enterprises, and set up offices in Africa, America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

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