This article provides an overview of Liaoning for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- Land area: 148,000 sq km
- Population: 43.52 million
- Provincial capital: Shenyang
- Gross Regional Product (GRP) (2019): RMB 2,491 billion
- GRP per capita (2019): RMB 57,191
- Major cities: Shenyang, Dalian, Anshan, Fushun Dandong, Jinzhou, Yingkou
Liaoning province, in the northeast region of China, borders Jilin province to the northeast, Inner Mongolia Autonomous region to the northwest, Hebei province to the southwest, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) across the Yalu River. The province is not only a traffic hub from the northeast region to the south of the Shanhai Pass, but also serves as an important gateway “connecting the northeast region and Inner Mongolia with the world and the Europe-Asia Land Bridge.”
The province is endowed with large reserves of mineral resources, including ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, and oil and gas. Its reserves of boron, magnesite, diamonds and jade are also the largest in China.
Shenyang, previously known as Mukden, is the capital city of Liaoning province. It is the birthplace of the Qing dynasty and has one of China’s two best-preserved imperial palace complexes, the other being the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.
Shenyang is an advanced manufacturing base. Its prominent manufacturing sectors comprise automotive components, building materials, agricultural product processing, chemical product manufacturing, and steel and non-ferrous metal smelting. Today, the city’s economy also relies on electronics, textiles, and pharmaceuticals, as well as other light manufacturing industries. Well-known automobile manufacturer BMW AG is also expanding its battery cell plant with a local partner in Shenyang.
The port city of Dalian is a major financial, shipping and logistics centre in Northeast Asia. The Dalian Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone is home to electronic information, bio-pharmaceuticals and new material industries. Dalian is also one of China’s major fashion centres. The city hosts the annual China Dalian International Garment and Textile Fair each September.
Liaoning is a major centre for heavy industries and raw materials. In 2016, its heavy industries accounted for 84 percent of its industrial output. Its main industries include machinery and equipment, smelting and pressing of metals, food processing and petrochemicals. Light industries include the processing farm products, processed food and beverages, and tobacco.
Foreign trade is conducted mainly through the port city of Dalian, which is geographically close to Japan and South Korea. Liaoning’s major exports included agricultural and fishery products as well as raw materials such as metals, minerals and oil. It also exported automobiles, auto-parts and machine tools. Its major export markets included Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Major imports comprised electronic parts, rubber, and tubes and steel. The major sources of imports in 2018 were Germany, Japan, Australia, South Korea and the United States.
In 2018, Dalian and Shenyang emerged as the most popular foreign direct investment destinations in Liaoning. Both cities accounted for more than 83 percent of FDI for that year. The manufacturing sector attracted the largest share of FDI (65.6 percent of the total) in 2018, followed by the real estate sector (14.3 percent of the total). The largest source of FDI in Liaoning is Hong Kong in 2018. Other major sources of FDI were Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and France.
In the first half of 2018, Liaoning attracted US$3.21 billion worth of foreign direct investments, which is a 14.4 percent year-on-year increase from 2017. During the same period, its foreign trade reached US$52.25 billion. The province aims to attract US$10 billion worth of foreign investments in 2020. Among the foreign investors here include The Coca-Cola Co, Thyssenkrupp AG, Siemens AG, Cargill Inc, BASF SE, Draxlmaier Group, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Wuerth Group. To incentivise foreign investors to set up research and development centres in the province, the local government will grant subsidies ranging from RMB500,000 to RMB two million between 2018 and 2022.
Shenyang and Dalian are the major consumer centres in Liaoning. In 2019, per capita disposable income of the urban population reached RMB 39,777. Shenyang plays an important regional distribution role in northern China. In recent years, a number of wholesale markets such as the Wu’ai Market, Shenyang Furniture City and Shenyang Shoes City have grown rapidly.
In 2019, Liaoning received 2.94 million overseas tourists. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism in 2019 amounted to US$1.74 billion.
Liaoning has a variety of tourist attractions, ranging from natural landscapes to historical sites and modern-day ones. For instance, the provincial capital of Shenyang is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Imperial Palace and the mausoleums containing the Zhaoling, Fuling and Yongling tombs. Dalian, Liaoning’s major port city, is well-known for its picturesque landscapes, pleasant climate and numerous seaside resorts. Jinzhou is famous for its dinosaur fossils, while nearby Qianshan has many towering pavilions and temples nestled among pine trees. Other activities available to tourists include rafting, snowboarding and skiing.
Singapore and Liaoning
Since the establishment of the Singapore-Liaoning Economic and Trade Council in 2003, trade between Singapore and Liaoning has steadily increased in volume over the years to reach US$1.65 billion in 2018. At the end of 2018, there were almost 1,000 Singapore projects in Liaoning, with cumulative actual investments of US$6.02 billion.
In July 2019, 11 Singapore companies signed project agreements, with more than half are on modern services and connectivity-related sectors. The key projects were: the development of manufacturing research facilities in Lvshun; and the development of an an integrated project including hotels, service centre, and commercial facilities in the Shenyang Free Trade Zone.