6300km of Investment Potential – The Yangtze River

Monday, February 5, 2007 9:36
Comments Off on 6300km of Investment Potential – The Yangtze River

Following our post entitled Implications of a Containerized Yangtze River, we will now provide a highline on the economic area surrounding the Yangtze River and applicable central government policies.

To start with, the 6300 km long Yangtze River passes through eleven provinces: Shanghai, Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, and Qinghai.

Home to the Three Gorges Dam, the Yangtze essentially cuts China in half North and South, and like most river basins the delta surrounding the river is some of the most fertile in China. According to Discovery Yangtze the Yangtze:

Produces 40 per cent Of the national grain (including 70 pet cent of all paddy rice), one-third of the Country’s cotton, 48 per cent of its freshwater fish and 40 per cent of the total Industrial output value.

Geographically, the river is split into three sections: upper, middle, and lower reaches

  • Upper Reaches – 4400km – From Qinghai source to Yichang, Hubei Province
  • Middle Reaches – 1100km – From Yichang (Hubei Province) to Poyang Lake (Jiangxi Province)
  • Lower Reaches – 900 km – Poyang Lake to Shanghai/ Chongming Island

Economically though, it is the areas from Shanghai to Chongqing that are are considered to be the Yangtze River Economic Area (Dark blue in map above): Including the seven provinces and two cities of Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei, Sichuan.

To promote growth along the Yangtze, the central government will rely on several different policies:

  • 11th five-year plan (Western Area, Central Area, and East Coast Region)
  • Yangtze River Golden Waterway Integration Strategy
  • Yangtze River Waterway Area Economic Cooperation Agreement (Nov. 2005, Signed by 7 provinces and two cities)
  • Yangtze River Waterway Area Integration Movement

Through these policies, China will invest 15 billion yuan (1.875 billion U.S. dollars) in the next five years to modernize the Yangtze River waterway for waterway management, port construction, ship building standardization and shipping security projects.

With the goal of the current party leaders to build a “Harmonious Society”, it does not take one long to see just how important that Yangtze currently is a major source of fertile land, power, transportation, and through the improvement of port infrastructure it will be one of the most valuable strategic initiatives in balancing out FDI throughout the heart of the country.

Stay tuned as we continue this series. As we drive up the river further, the findings will only get more interesting.

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