Business and Travel in Gansu Province

If you travel to the northwestern side of the Peoples Republic of China, you will find Gansu situated between Qinghai and the Huangtu Plateaus. The name ‘Gansu’ was first used as an acronym for two prefectures in the area during the Song Dynasty. Today you may find locals calling Gansu ‘Long’, ‘Long West’ or ‘Long Right’. This is a reference to the Long Mountains which are situated just east of the province. The region is quite vast and varied and even includes a small portion of the Gobi Desert in its boundaries.

It is interesting to note that the area now known as Gansu in China has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Most of the artifacts found in the region date back to the Dadiwan Neolithic culture which is supposed to have lived between 6000 and 3000 BC. Doubtless, many different cultures have left their mark on this part of the country – especially since the province was situated along the Silk Road, which would have meant that it played an economically important role in the country. As a result the area is dotted with fascinating historical attractions from virtually every time period in history. However, it is the unfortunate past of the region, rather than its blessings, which have brought it the most attention. In 1920 an earthquake measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale killed roughly 180 000 people making it one of the five deadliest earthquakes ever. Another quake brought further devastation in 1932. Natural disasters, such as these, negatively affected the economic growth of the region for years. Fortunately, recent efforts to increase trade in Gansu have rectified the situation. Since the discovery and utilization of the area’s abundant mineral resources, Gansu has begun developing into a major industrial center.

If you have business interests in Gansu you will probably start your travels in the provincial capital, Lanzhou, which is located in the southeastern parts of the province. Other notable cities in the region include Yumen and Xiahe. The province has a blossoming economy with a variety of crops and herbs harvested and sold annually. However the largest part of the economy has to be related to the extraction and refining of numerous minerals. In fact, Gansu is one of the largest harvesters of rare earth elements in the world. The province is also involved in the production of electricity, petrochemicals, building materials and oil exploration machinery. It also acts as a center for the country’s nuclear industry. In 2004 the province’s nominal GDP was US $ 19.34 billion! Clearly Gansu is a worthwhile place to invest. Fortunately the province also has several excellent attractions which will add spice and interest to any business trip. So book your stay in Gansu Province now and discover all the opportunities and surprises you can imagine at this great business destination.