West Coast New Area

Companies that helped Belt, Road construction

By WANG JINHUI | (China Daily) | 2023-10-17

Some high-profile enterprises in Qingdao, Shandong province, have expanded their overseas operations while becoming pioneers in construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Designed and manufactured by CRRC Qingdao Sifang, a Chinese rolling stock manufacturer based in Qingdao, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway at Halim Station in Jakarta, Indonesia, started commercial operation on Oct 2. As a flagship project of BRI cooperation between China and Indonesia, the 142-kilometer railway has a speed of 350 km per hour and connects the Indonesian capital Jakarta with the tourist destination city of Bandung — reducing the previous travel time from 3.5 hours to 40 minutes.

Zhang Fangtao, chief designer of the project, said the railway adopts China's cutting-edge technologies in such sectors as speed, intelligence, environmental adaptability, comfort and customization, and applies standards according to the local environment and track conditions in Indonesia. It brings a cutting-edge high-speed transportation mode to Indonesia and facilitates greater regional economic and social development.

Meanwhile, Haier, a multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company headquartered in Qingdao, has established 22 industrial parks, 103 manufacturing centers and 103 trading companies in countries and regions involved in the BRI. While meeting local market demands, the company has also created a significant number of jobs and promoted the comprehensive upgrade of technology, standards and industrial chains.

Huang Decheng, president of the South Asia branch at Haier Smart Home, said Haier started building its factory in Pakistan in 2001. From construction of a 150,000-square-meter industrial park in Lahore, capital of Punjab, Pakistan, to production of the first Haier washing machine there in May 2002, Haier set a record for the fastest industrial construction in Pakistan.

In 2006, the Haier-Ruba Economic Zone, enlarged from Haier's industrial park in Pakistan, was inaugurated, becoming China's first overseas economic and trade cooperation zone approved by the Ministry of Commerce. The industrial park mainly produces refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, freezers, televisions, microwaves and water dispensers.

With the launch of the BRI and the remarkable achievements of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Haier-Ruba Economic Zone has brought key benefits to residents of both countries and added strong impetus to regional prosperity.

As of 2022, Haier has been Pakistan's top producer of white goods appliances for eight consecutive years, with air conditioners and washing machines ranking first for 15 and 10 consecutive years, respectively. The company also jointly established an air-conditioning laboratory with Pakistan's ministry of science and technology, helping the country establish an energy efficiency standard system.

Huang said the goal for Haier's initial entry into the global market is to create independent brands. In response to the special needs of users in different regions around the world, the company has implemented a "three-in-one" layout of localized research and development, manufacturing and marketing.

Chinese home appliance maker Hisense is another typical example of Qingdao companies' endeavor in exploring international markets, with overseas companies and offices currently serving 126 countries. In the first half of this year, Hisense TV ranked among the top three brands in Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and it has also achieved good results in Malaysia, Thailand and Israel.

Hisense regards localization as the essence of globalization and adheres to the "Local for Local" operation strategy in a layout of production, sales and research. It has established 10 industrial parks and production centers in markets such as the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Poland and Thailand, as well as R&D centers in Italy, Slovenia and Dubai, enabling the country to gain insights into consumers and markets, meet differentiated demands and achieve synergy in production, sales and research.


The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation between China and Indonesia. CHINA DAILY