Guizhou's Weng'an: Marching on new economic path

By Faisal Kidwai
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, September 9, 2016
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An exterior view of the Houchang Museum in Weng'an county in Guizhou province on Sept 8, 2016. (Photo by Faisal Kidwai/

Never assume anything is always a good advice. Weng'an county in Guizhou province proved how true it is on Wednesday.

Before heading off to the county on a trip to the province, I had pictured an economically struggling place. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Guizhou located in the southwestern region of China is not connected with sea or big river nor it shares borders with any country. It has a mountainous terrain with hardly any flat land.

In the center of this province sits Weng'an. For years it faced economic hardships due to its geographical location. Access to the outside world was limited as it had few channels to carry out trade.

However, it all began to change in the past couple of decades.

Although dealt a heavy hand by nature, the county was sitting on something that was worth in gold: Minerals. It is blessed with large and easily extractable deposits of many minerals, including phosphorus, coal, iron and gypsum.

To take advantage of the golden opportunity, Weng'an began offering favorable policies to companies and started building industrial parks.

But that was just a start. Today it is taking big steps to attract investments in other industries, such as manufacturing and tourism.

The population of the whole county is 530,000 and it welcomed more than 600,000 tourists in just past nine months. For a relatively unknown place, that's an impressive number.

Huang Guilin, the head of Weng'an county, told that with four expressways, link to the high-speed rail network and proximity to province's capital Guiyang, just an hour drive from the county, it is easier than ever before for trade and business.

He added that to become more profitable all the companies in the county have reduced costs significantly.

As China marks the 80th anniversary of the Long March, the county expects the number to only increase. One of the sites to see the role Weng'an played in the daring expedition is Houchang Museum. Located 13 km from the county center, it houses several historical relics, has a stone forest and a lake nearby and eye-catching statues in front of it.

With its economy projected to postdouble-digit growth in 2015, the county is taking steps to boost the manufacturing sector.

MWPP, a company that produces shoes, caps and other clothing goods, now has plans to branch outside the province.

The firm with 1,500 employees already makes six lines of products and recently launched another brand.

A view of a statue opposite the Houchang Museum in Weng'an county in Guizhou province on Sept 8, 2016. (Photo by Faisal Kidwai/



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