Wellspring of opportunities in China's untapped heartland

Wellspring of opportunities in China's untapped heartland

SINGAPORE - China's relatively untapped heartland in the central region offers a wellspring of opportunities for Singapore companies in the consumer and logistics industries.

A report released on Sunday by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said urbanisation and improved transport links are drawing more investors to the region.

The report said Singapore companies looking to central China should set their sights on four of the region's major cities - Wuhan, Hefei, Zhengzhou and Changsha.

Comprising six provinces - Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi and Shanxi - China's central region accounts for 27 per cent of its population and 22 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Mr Foong Kah Keong, regional director for South China at IE Singapore, said the country is shifting away from external demand and towards domestic growth, as part of the new government's economic reforms.

"Central China is not an export story, but a domestic consumption story... The consumer market there is in the early stages of development, making this a good time to enter the market and win over consumers to your brand," he said.

Demand for logistics services in the region will grow in tandem with rising consumer demand for finished goods - there are opportunities for Singapore companies in warehousing and cold-chain logistics, among other sectors.

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