Chengdu: The Economic Engine of Western China


With two hundred Fortune 500 companies already established there, Chengdu is quickly becoming the “Western frontier” for financial services in China. With over 57 banks, 65 insurance companies and 44 securities houses based in Chengdu, a dramatic increase in private equity as well as other areas of investment, and a new Financial Outsourcing zone being established, the inner West of China will be the driving force in the nation’s growth in the coming decade.

Recent investment by Australian companies in Chengdu reflects the growing recognition of the role Western China has to play in China’s future. Examples include Cochlear, BlueScope, Rheem, Accenture and ANZ.

In January 2012, the City of Chengdu led a delegation to Sydney to attend the annual Chinese New Year Parade and participate in the Business Forum. I was fortunate to have the chance to meet most of their senior Government officials and business leaders.

Here is a summary of some presentations of the opportunities for co-operation identified between Sydney and Chengdu, presented by senior members of the Chengdu delegation involved in their financial services sector.

Chengdu Financial Work Office

Speaker:  Ren Ruihong, Division Chief, Banking and Insurance, Chengdu Financial Work Office

The following five characteristics illustrate Chengdu’s competitive advantage as the Western Chinese hub for financial services and the opportunities for growth and collaboration with Australia:

  1. Very Competitive Financial Institutions - With over 57 banks, 65 insurance companies and 44 securities companies already established in Chengdu, the Inner West will be the driving force in the nation’s growth in the coming decade.
  2. Specific Outsourcing Zones – ANZ has built up a presence outsourcing its Chinese language call centres to Chengdu. There is a diverse range of BPOs including data centres, fund settlements, bank card centres and Research and Development.
  3. Active Capital market – Chengdu has a joint property trading centre with 47 publicly listed comoanies with total market value of RMB 50billion, a strong focus on start up enterprise and the highest level of securities trading amongst the Western cities. 
  4. Rich in talent – the professional talent pool is highly concentrated in Chengdu, in Chengdu with over 42 local higher educational institutions,
  5. Government Services and Support – in areas such as private equity funds, funds management, rural banks, home loans, accounting, law and asset appraisal

JinTai Property Insurance Co. Ltd

Speaker: Deng MingXiang, Chairman of JinTai Property Insurance Co. Ltd.

Opened on 28 January 2011, JinTai Property Insurance Co. Ltd is the first insurance company founded in SiChuan province and has $1.5billion registered capital. With a growth strategy to expand within China over the next 3-5years, JinTai’s growth will not stop there. With a firm international strategy in place, JinTai employs foreign employees to support their international and strategic growth plan. A government controlled entity, JinTai is the leading insurance company for major infrastructure projects in SiChuan. They offer two main types of insurance (1) property loss, liability, credit guarantee and (2) health & accident insurance. JinTai Property Insurance Co. Ltd is looking for partnerships in Australia – is this an opportunity for your business?

Bank of Chengdu

Speaker: Tian HuaMao, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, Bank of Chengdu Co., Ltd, President, Bank of Chengdu

The Bank of Chengdu is a leading financial institution with AUD$500million capital. It has a workforce of 4,000 people and total assets $28billion. With a total profit of AUD$4million, the Bank of Chengdu is the top commercial bank in the South West of China. A strong focus on the SME sector in the local area, including high tech and energy industries, the aims to target the rural and urban areas.

Chengdu Investment Holding Group Co. Ltd.

Speaker: QinJian, Investment Director

With JinTai Property Insurance and Bank of Chengdu as the biggest shareholders of the company and $10billion in assets, Chengdu Investment Holding Group Co. Ltd is a space for Australians to watch for opportunities for outbound investment, with investment totalling RMB10billion. As both an investment and finance platform, the Chengdu Investment Holdings Group Co. Ltd. is an institution for Australian companies to assist with management of funds.

With the support of the Chengdu delegation to Sydney, we eill be leading a Financial Services Mission to Chengdu, Chongqing and Shanghai in China in October 2012 to explore investment opportunities, build new connections in these 2nd tier cities and learn about their plans to grow and expand their local financial services sector. Click here to download all the details.