Businesses are moving inland to set up projects, investments and operations. This is primarily due to lower labor and land costs as well as preferential policies for manufacturers.
Multinational companies also are starting to view the region as the next step toward an integrated China strategy.
The consumer population in the second- and third-tier cities in central China represents a growing, largely untapped domestic market for foreign products and services.
The major provinces involved are Anhui, Henan, Hubei and Jiangxi.
The provincial capital of Anhui Hefei, a six-hour bus ride from Shanghai, accounts for about 30% of the total investment in the province.
The future of Hubei is largely dependent on the success of the Three Gorges Dam project and the accompanying development of Chongqing as a major industrial and commercial center.
There have been many upgrades of Hubei’s river ports, and there is likely to be many more as larger volumes of cargo are transported up and down the river.
Hunan plans to invest more than $200 billion in infrastructure development in 2006-11. Road and rail transportation networks are continuing to develop as the central provinces desperately attempt to keep up with the east coast in terms of accessibility and convenience as well as transportation costs.
Jiangxi is rich in natural resources and is a major source of timber and bamboo products in China. It ranks first in China in deposits of copper, silver and uranium.
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