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Overseas Chinese: a key driving force behind Jiangmens past, present and future development

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Bangkok--10 Nov--Infoquest

Jiangmen is a city located in southern China's Guangdong Province. Often hailed as the "Capital of Overseas Chinese," Jiangmen is a testament to the history of early overseas Chinese, from which hundreds years ago many Chinese emigrated to other parts of the world to make their fortunes.

The people of Jiangmen were among the very first Chinese emigrants who ventured to western countries. While many settled and created Chinatowns in their adopted countries, many returned to their hometowns, notably to Kaiping, a county-level city within Jiangmen.

After acquiring wealth abroad, many Kaiping natives eventually returned home and built the spectacular towering fortress-residences, known as diaolou. Kaiping Diaolous are a unique type of Chinese vernacular architecture that merge eastern and western influences. In 2007, "Kaiping Diaolous and Villages" were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To reflect the old saying "Fallen leaves return to the roots," Hong Kong-based Lee Kum Kee Group has never forgotten that Xinhui District of Jiangmen is where the Lee Kum Kee Family originated. After several years of conducting business outside Xinhui, the company was attracted to the favorable environment of its hometown and established its largest factory in Xinhui in 1995.

Currently, Lee Kum Kee has approximately 2,400 employees and produces over 200 types of sauce. However, the company is best known for its oyster sauce, which has created value not only for Lee Kum Kee but also for local communities.

Jiangmen celebrates its past, enjoys its present, and plans for its future. The large overseas Chinese community has been an integral part in the development of Jiangmen, whether it is directly giving back to the city or indirectly through investment. Statistics show nearly 4 million people with links to the city now live in 107 countries and regions.

Jiangmen boasts prime geographical location West of the Pearl River Delta since it also faces the South China Sea in the South. Moreover, the official inclusion of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area in the national strategic agenda has laid a solid foundation for Jiangmen, an indispensable member within the area, to drive the city forward.

The city created Qiaomengyuan (Dream Incubator for Overseas Chinese) and set up a development fund for startups and entrepreneurs working in the dream incubator, which has so far attracted some 250 signed or intended projects. Meanwhile, RMB4 billion has been invested in the construction of the Jiangmen Station integrated transport hub. The development of the Greater Guanghai Bay Economic Zone is also planned. It is expected to be the largest among new provincial-level zones in Guangdong.

And these are just to name a few. Jiangmen will continue to give full play to the city's advantages, leverage its role as the ancestral home for overseas Chinese, as well as play an active part in exchanges with the rest of the world.


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