A warm welcome
On 13 May 2023 we were invited by the city government to visit Zibo City in Shandong. We stayed in Qisheng International Hotel, a large complex surrounded by a nice park and some interesting buildings.
I was asked to congratulate the Shandong University Medical Alumni Association during its conference, as Rotating Chairman of the China Belt and Road International Talent Fund under the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs.
They organized the BBQ outing in the evening; on Sunday 14 May a visit to pharmaceutical R&D and a visit to Zhoucun Old Shopping Street, see details in next posts.
Industry in Zibo
Zibo City is the old capital of Qi State, famous city of ceramics. As one of China’s earliest pottery production areas as well as one of China’s five largest porcelain capitals, it boasts a ceramic culture of more than 8,000 years.
In the first quarter of this year, Zibo achieved GDP of 105.77 billion yuan ($15.07 billion), a rise of 4.7 percent year-on-year, in part due to the BBQ success.
Industrial projects have been developed in Zibo for more than 100 years since iron ore and coal were discovered in the early 20th century.
The city was once an industrial hub for the chemical industry, with coal, iron, bauxite, silk, ceramics, glass, electricity and machinery the pillars of its economy. The city has faced a drop in demand in its chemical industry, the former mainstay of its economy.
About a decade ago, Zibo faced a series of problems, including resource depletion and environmental pollution, which forced the authorities to transform the local industrial structure.
Since 2018, the city has shut down heavy industrial projects, while introducing sustainable and high-tech ventures. High-tech and innovation enterprises have been introduced.
Zibo has attracted 65 national-level enterprises specializing in innovation and developing competitive products.
A digital economy, smart manufacturing and medical industries have been developed in recent years, which will provide more jobs for young people.
The city has also started a massive cleanup of old buildings.
Pharmaceutical industry base
On 14 May we visited a major pharmaceutical research center, huge and with the most advanced laboratory equipment.
Zibo is the largest pharmaceutical industry base in Shandong Province continually ranking the first in the Province. A complete industrial system including chemical raw materials and preparations, Chinese patent medicines, medical devices and consumables, pharmaceutical equipment, pharmaceutical excipients and pharmaceutical intermediates has been formed. It is focused on the cultivation and development of major industrial clusters including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and pharmaceutical equipment, pharmaceutical packaging materials and pharmaceutical excipients. The industry chain of superior medicine such as cephalosporin, antipyretic and analgesic is strengthened, the Chinese Medicine prevention and treatment, new medicine development as well as the secondary development of Chinese Medicine are reinforced and an RMB 80 billion-level pharmaceutical industry cluster is created. In the medical equipment and pharmaceutical equipment field, the research and development of high-end imaging medical equipment is accelerated, new products such as radiotherapy, in vitro diagnostics, dialysis equipment, biological materials are developed and a RMB 30 billion-level medical equipment and pharmaceutical equipment industrial cluster is created.
More details here.
It is said that the bulk of Aspirin, Caffeine and Ibuprofen production for the world is coming from Zibo, e.g. through Shandong Xinhua Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.