A unique blend of historic glory and future opportunities

As the world’s most populous country and second-largest economy, the People’s Republic of China has become one of the fastest-growing actors on the international stage since the launch of the Reform and Opening-up Era in 1978. Once known as “the factory of the world”, the country has been steadily moving its production up the global value chain. Coupled with Made in China 2025, the projects launched within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative connecting China to Europe through Central Asia and the wider Mediterranean region have boosted the development of transport, energy, digital infrastructure, promoting investments from Chinese state-owned and private companies in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. As one of the many endpoints of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Euro-Mediterranean region thus has an important role to play in the years to come.


Haining is a county-level city in Zhejiang Province, China, and under the jurisdiction of Jiaxing.

It is in the south side of Yangtze River Delta, and in the north of Zhejiang. It is 125 km to the southwest of central Shanghai, and 61.5 km east of Hangzhou, the provincial capital. To its south lies the Qiantang River. Haining is known for its leather industry and spectacular tide in the Qiantang River. Since June 2021, it's linked to Hangzhou by the new suburban Hangzhou - Haining subway Line. Located in the Yangtze River Delta region close to Shanghai and adjoining Hangzhou, Haining serves as the core of the Hangzhou Metropolitan Economic Circle and the Greater Hangzhou Bay Rim Area. The city benefits from the “one-hour economic circle” of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou with a well-developed transportation network.

Haining has been promoting integrated development between traditional and emerging industries, resulting in two 100 billion RMB-worth industry clusters centered on fashion and strategic new industries respectively. Based on key industrial development platforms such as “Three Zones and One Belt” and distinctive towns, Haining keeps strengthening industry clustering and upgrading the cross-sector industry clusters into larger innovation-driven ones.

In 2018, the International Campus of Zhejiang University was opened in the Eastern Part of Haining, with several institutes that offer joint education programs in life sciences and engineering, together with the University of Edinburgh or the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The vicinity of an academic institution for education and research is believed to foster the growth of engineering and biotech companies for which a "science park" is currently under construction.


Hangzhou is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang, China.

It is located in the northeastern part of the province, sitting at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of China's most renowned and prosperous cities for much of the last millennium. It is a major economic and e-commerce hub within China, and the second biggest city in the Yangtze Delta after Shanghai. Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area, the fourth-largest in China after Guangzhou-Shenzhen Pearl River agglomeration, Shanghai-Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou conurbation and Beijing. As of 2019, the Hangzhou metropolitan area was estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (nominal) of 3.2 trillion yuan ($486.53 billion), making it larger than the economy of Nigeria (the largest in Africa).

Hangzhou has been repeatedly rated as the best commercial city in mainland China by Forbes and the Chinese city with the highest growth potential by the Economist Intelligence Unit. A study conducted by PwC and China Development Research Foundation ranked Hangzhou first among "Chinese Cities of Opportunity". According to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC), the city is classified as Beta (global second-tier) city, together with Chongqing, Nanjing and Tianjin in China. Hangzhou is also one of the world's top 100 financial centers, according to the Global Financial Centres Index. It boasts the eighth largest GDP among cities in mainland China with a GDP of around 1.8 trillion RMB ($280 billion). Home to the headquarters of large global tech companies such as the Alibaba Group, Ant Group and NetEase, Hangzhou is known for attracting professionals and entrepreneurs who work in information technology. As of August 2023, Hangzhou has the tenth-most Fortune Global 500 headquarters of any city in the world and the fourth-most in China – after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen – within its city limits. According to the 2020 Hurun Global Rich List, Hangzhou ranks 11th in the world and 6th in China (after Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou) in the number of resident billionaires.

Hangzhou is a major city for scientific research in the Asia-Pacific, ranking 16th globally by scientific outputs. It hosts several notable universities, including Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou Dianzi, Zhejiang A&F, Zhejiang Sci-Tech, Zhejiang Chinese Medical, Westlake University, China Jiliang and Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics. Its West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site west of the city, is among its best-known attractions. In 2023, it became the third Chinese city to host the Asian Games, after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. It was also the second Chinese city to host the Asian Para Games after the Guangzhou 2010. Hangzhou also hosted the 11th G20 summit in 2016.


Shanghai is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flowing through it. The population of the city proper is the third largest in the world, with 24.89 million inhabitants in 2021, while the urban area is the most populous in China, with 39.3 million residents. As of 2018, the Greater Shanghai metropolitan area was estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (nominal) of nearly 9.1 trillion RMB ($1.33 trillion). Shanghai is one of the world's major centers for finance, business and economics, research, science and technology, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, and culture, and the Port of Shanghai is the world's busiest container port.

By the 1990s, the city had re-emerged as a hub for international trade and finance; it is the home of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalization and the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, the first free-trade zone in mainland China. Shanghai has been classified as an Alpha+ (global first-tier) city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. As of 2022, it is home to 12 companies of the Fortune Global 500 and is ranked 4th on the Global Financial Centres Index. The city is also a global major center for research and development and home to many highly ranked Double First-Class Universities. The Shanghai Metro, first opened in 1993, is the largest metro network in the world by route length.

Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of China. Featuring several architectural styles such as Art Deco and shikumen, the city is renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, museums and historic buildings. It ranks sixth in the list of cities with the most skyscrapers.