Xiamen, Our Lovely City!
Xiamen, also known as Amoy, is a major city on the southeast (Taiwan Strait) coast of the People’s Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of 1,699.39 square kilometres (656.14 sq mi) and population of 3.67 million. Its built up area is now bigger than the old urban island area and covers all six districts of Xiamen. It borders Quanzhou to the north and Zhangzhou making this a unique built up area of more than five million people. The Jinmen (Kinmen) Islands administered by Taiwan are less than 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.
Xiamen and the surrounding southern Fujian countryside are the ancestral home to large communities of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. The city was a treaty port in the 19th century and one of the four original Special Economic Zones opened to foreign investment and trade when China began economic reforms in the early 1980s. It is endowed with educational and cultural institutions supported by the overseas Chinese diaspora. In 2006, Xiamen was ranked as China’s second “most suitable city for living”, as well as China’s “most romantic leisure city” in 2011.
Xiamen has a diverse and well-developed economy. Primary economic activities include fishing, shipbuilding, food processing, tanning, textiles, machine tool manufacturing, chemical industries, telecommunications and financial services. The city has economic and trade relations with 162 countries and regions worldwide, and benefits from foreign investment, particularly capital from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
In 2008, a total of 356 projects with foreign direct investment had been approved in the city, with a contractual foreign investment amount of US$1.896 billion and an actual foreign investment amount of US$2.042 billion.In 1992, Xiamen was ranked among the top 10 Chinese cities in relation to comprehensive strengths with its GDP increasing by an average of over 20% annually. In 2008, Xiamen’s GDP amounted to 156 billion Yuan, an increase of 11.1% over the previous year; and the per-capita GDP was 62,651 yuan (US$9,017). Further economic reforms were introduced, and this brought the total volume of imports and exports in 2008 to US$45.4 billion, while that of exports totalled US$29.4 billion. Xiamen is also the host of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade held annually in early September to attract foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland.