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Business environment
By Zhu Chengpei and Zhang Xiaomin ( China Daily )

Business environment
Aerial view of the coastal city

At the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula in northeast China's Liaoning province, Dalian is increasingly important in global trade due to its strengths in shipping, manufacturing, finance and tourism.

The city of 6 million residents is a hub for the Bohai Bay area and the northeast Asia economic region that faces Japan and both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea across the Yellow Sea.

An internationalized city

Dalian became a window to northeast China after the nation began its reform and opening policies. It has a State-level economic development zone, a hi-tech industrial zone, a State tourist resort and the only bonded harbor and export processing zone in the region.

The city is now home to 12,661 foreign-invested companies, including 186 operations by 87 Fortune 500 companies.

It has residential communities and schools serving the overseas community along with international restaurants and entertainment facilities.

As the financial center of northeast China, Dalian is home to 79 branches or subsidiaries of finance institutions, including eight foreign banks.

Sompo Japan Insurance and ING Group have their China headquarters in Dalian. Thirteen other foreign insurance companies have representative offices in the city.

The International Monetary Fund established its first China training center in Dalian. Soybean futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange are ranked No 1 in China and No 2 in the world.

The city is also an exhibition center. It has hosted the Worldwide Chinese Insurance Congress, an APEC senior officials economic conference, the Asia-Europe forum, a WTO ministerial meeting, and the annual "New Champions" forum, also known as Summer Davos, that attracts government and global business leaders.

New science & technology

Dalian also plays a crucial role in the revitalization of northeast China. Its industrial output is top among the region's cities.

Relying on science and independent innovation, the city's hi-tech and new industries now join petrochemicals, shipping, and manufacturing as core industries.

The city already leads the nation in production of petrochemicals, diesel locomotives, machine tools, automobile spare parts, refrigeration equipment, precision bearings and shipbuilding.

Dalian is home to 22 institutions of higher learning and more than 100 scientific research centers whose strength in ocean engineering, computational mechanics, industrial chemistry, and biological engineering lead the nation.

Its telecommunication and information infrastructure is at the forefront in China. It has the largest international data processing center in the northeastern region.

A $2.5 billion Intel chip factory, one of the largest single foreign investments ever made in China, is under construction in the economic development zone of the city.

Dalian is also a national software production and export center and a base for computer animation and games.

The city is now home to nearly 700 software and IT service companies, a sector that continues to grow over 50 percent every year, making Dalian China's third-largest software export city.