Anshan is located in the middle of the Liaodong Peninsula. The city’s name is derived from the shape of two mountains in the southern suburb, which resemble the shape of a horse’s saddle (“Siemualin” in Manchu language). Since Anshan is the cradle of China’s iron and steel industry, the city is known as “China’s Capital of Iron and Steel”.
The city has a population of 3.52 million, 1.78 million of them are living in urban areas. The prefecture of Anshan administers Haicheng City, Taian County, Xiuyan Manchu Autonomous County, and the four urban districts Tiedong, Tiexi, Lishan, and Qianshan.
Anshan has rich forest vegetation covering the east mountain area, with a forest coverage rate of 50 percent. The mountain area abounds in apple, pear, chestnut, and tussah. Nanguo Pear is one of the city’s popular specialties. With a cultivated area of 253,000 hectares, the plains of west Anshan produce corn, rice, soybean, and peanut.
Anshan has proven reserves of 51 kinds of mineral resources. Iron ore is the most important with 10 billion tons, accounting for a quarter of the country’s total. Proven reserves of magnetite are 2.3 billion tons, accounting for 80 percent of the country’s and a quarter the world’s reserves. Talc reserves are 60 million tons, 40 percent of the China total. Xiuyan (serpentine) jade reserves are 2.1 million tons, 60 percent of the world. Xiuyan jade has been determined as top candidate to become China’s national stone. In December 2006, Xiuyan Manchu Autonomous County was named “China’s Capital of Jade” by the China Mining Association.
Located in the center of the Bohai Rim Economic Circle, Anshan is an important city in the Shenyang-Dalian Golden economic belt and an essential linkage between the megalopolis in the middle of Liaoning and Liaodong Peninsula Economic Development Zone. The city is located 89 kilometers to the south of Shenyang and 270 kilometers to the north of Dalian.
Changchun-Dalian Railway and Shenyang-Dalian Expressway run through the city from north to south. Haicheng-Goubangzi Railway and Haicheng-Xiuyan Railway run through the city from east to west. The oil pipeline between Daqing and Dalian passes through the city. Additionally, numerous highways link all towns and townships and provide convenient access to the city.
Due to the continuous development in the past decades, a complete range of industries has been set up in Anshan, with the iron and steel industry dominating.
In 2009, the GDP of Anshan was 173.05 billion RMB (about 24.72 billion USD), an increase of 12.6 percent over the previous year. The value added of scale enterprises was 67 billion RMB (9.6 billion USD), the value added of the tertiary sector was 62.8 billion RMB (9 billion USD), 19.2 percent more than 2007. The fixed assets investment in 2009 was 87.5 billion RMB (12.5 billion USD). The overall consumption was 43.6 billion RMB (6.23 billion USD). Per capita disposable income of urban residents was 16,630 RMB (2,361 USD), and the annual consumption per capita 12,065 RMB (1,723 USD).
There are 87 large- and medium- sized industrial enterprises in Anshan. They mainly produce raw iron (16.83 million tons in 2009), steel (16.11 million tons), finished steel (16.78 million tons), cloth (170 million meters) and silk (2,474 tons).
Employment was almost evenly distributed among the three sectors as follows: primary sector 492,000 persons, secondary sector 570,000 persons, tertiary sector 752,000 persons. They were mainly employed in manufacturing (157,983), education (39,796), construction (38,331), public administration (35,400), and health and social welfare (22,592). Only a relatively small number of 122,000 people was employed by private companies, while state-owned enterprises still account for most jobs. The 2009 average salary was 30,434 RMB (4,347 USD).
Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (An Steel) is the leading manufacturer, ranking eighth among the world’s most competitive iron and steel producers. Main technology, equipment, and production have reached an internationally advanced level. With the emergence and introduction of a number of famous national companies, the industrial competence of Anshan is also increasing.
The industrial complex of Anshan is emerging with the rapid development of industrial zones. Currently, main industrial areas of Anshan are Dadaowan, Lingshan, the Anshan High-tech Zone, Ningyuan, and the Tanggangzi High-tech Agriculture Zone.
The regional industrial development strategy is to build Anshan into a pattern of “one base and four industries”. Anshan will focus on the iron and steel production base of An Steel, and simultaneously develop four other industries which are metallurgical equipment manufacturing, minerals deep processing, chemical raw materials, and textiles. An industrial cluster of steel and steel processing has come into being in Anshan.
Also, a rural economy pattern is emerging. Haicheng, a county level city of Anshan prefecture, is now planning five economic zones. This will develop Haicheng into a new industrial area with Haicheng Economic Development Zone and Teng’ao Economic Development Zone playing a significant role.
One of the first cities to implement the opening-up policy on the Liaodong Peninsula, Anshan has established trade relations with more than 100 countries and regions. Foreign direct investment has increased quickly during the past several years.
The number of foreign-funded enterprises in the city totals 660. A host of domestic and foreign enterprises have invested in the city, including Nanya Plastics Corporation of Formosa Plastics Group, Owens Corning, Formosan Rubber Group, US China Express Group, Tsingtao Brewery Company, and Zhongyou TIPO Group.
The import volume of Anshan was 1.53 billion USD in 2009, an increase of 1.6 percent over 2008. The export volume was 1.04 billion USD. Foreign trade of Anshan has been changing in regard to trade partner countries. Anshan is no more solely relying on export to ASEAN countries and Taiwan. Exports to Japan and South Korean have grown rapidly, and the export to Australia, the United States and Europe also increased.
To fill international trade and communications with life, Anshan maintains twinning relations with Amagasaki (Japan), Sheffield (UK), Lipetsk (Russia), Birmingham (US), Bursa (Turkey), and Ansan (South Korea).
Shenyang Taoxian is the closest airport, and Anshan public transportation relies on taxi and bus. International shopping malls and supermarkets include Parkson, Carrefour, and TESCO. Two five-star hotels are the Five Ring Grand Hotel and the New World Hotel.
To refine the investment environment, Anshan has taken the lead to set up public administration service centers at municipal and county levels. Project examination time and approval procedures have been reduced by 83.5 percent. The city has introduced a series of policies and stipulations to regulate the soft environment. An “Honest and Credible Anshan” project has been launched and more government information has been made public, aiming to establish credibility systems of the government, of enterprises and individuals.