Located on the southern tip of the Eastern Liaoning Peninsula, Dalian has a superb geographical location and serves as a gateway to Beijing and Tianjin, with the Yellow Sea to the east, the Bohai Sea to the west, and with Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang (the three northeastern provinces) and part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the north. The ideal location, agreeable climate and beautiful scenery has enabled Dalian to become one of Northern China's most important center of international shipping, finance, business, tourism and information. Dalian is a city privileged with a provincial economic administration.
Dalian is an important hub of communications in Northern China and an important international shipping center for northeast Asia. It is a comprehensive transportation system hub with a powerful capacity utilized either through sea, land or air. Dalian Port is a world-known deep and ice-free harbor, having shipping relations with over 160 countries and regions and undertaking more than 70% of cargo transportation and 90% of containerized traffic. Dalian is the biggest free trade port in Northern China and the largest goods transfer port in its northeast. Dalian International Airport has opened nearly 100 domestic and international air routes and has become the largest airfreight transport base in the northeast of China. The region is linked with the well-developed highway and railway networks. In the city proper, there are many convenient public transportation lines using light rails, street cars and buses.
As an important industrial base of China, Dalian has all categories of industries capable of manufacturing complete equipment sets. Dalian is the building base of large ships and maritime projects in China, as its shipbuilding industry accounts for one-third of the total industry. It is also the manufacture and export base of the machinery manufacturing industry. Its powerful inner combustion locomotives, machine tools and tires, refrigeration machinery, bearings, and diesel engines are world-famous. Furthermore, Dalian is China's manufacture and export base of digitalized audio-visual products. Dalian has become a base for petroleum refining and recently a very major player in the international software industry. Dalian DD Port is an industrial base also to developing biological engineering and digitalized technology. Its specialized industrial zones including the digitalized manufacturing park, the biological engineering park and the pharmaceutical industrial park. These display the industry's aggregative effect and have expanded their scale exponentially. Such noted companies as Dalian Zhen¡¯ao Company are developing beyond imagination in these parks.
Dalian has an integrated and ideal science and technology education and vocation training system, and is rich in scientific and technological human resources. There are 21 universities and colleges with 120,000 undergraduates, over 10,000 in-school doctors and postgraduates, 18 state academicians of natural science and engineering, 260,000 scientific research personnel and over 1,000,000, high-qualified industrial workers. Dalian University of Technology, Dalian Maritime University, Northeast Finance and Economy University and Dalian Medical University are all well-known universities in China. The Maritime Training Center of the United Nations Asia Development Office has been set up in Dalian Maritime University. Dalian Research Institute of Chemical Physics, Guangming Chemical Research Institute and Maritime Environment Protection Research Institute are all famous research institutes in China.
Dalian has become the largest regional home for foreign banks and therefore acts as the international clearing center for Northern China. Fourteen foreign banks and finance institutions have established branches or offices in Dalian, among which are Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank, UFJ Bank, Yamaguchi Bank, Mizuho Bank, Fukuoka Bank, East Asia Bank Hong Kong, Southern Commerce Bank, HSBC and the Korean Exchange Bank. The finance institutions in Dalian have set up settlement networks with 150 countries and regions around the world.
Dalian is a famous summer resort and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China, with its beautiful scenery and pleasant environment. The Southern Coast, the Forest Park, Lvshun Port, Golden Pebble Beach and the Bingyu Valley are important and famous provincial or national tourist spots. Many large-scale internationalized events attract businessmen, artists, fashion designers and popular models from all over the world to our seaside city, including: the annual Dalian International Fashion Festival, Acacia Flowers Festival, Spring Festival of Fireworks, and Dalian Import and Export Commodities Fairs of China . Dalian Nature Museum, L¨¹shun Museum, Dalian Modern Museum and Architectural Arts Museum are all ready magnets for visitors from both at home and abroad.
Dalian has such nicknames as the "Soccer City" and "Home of Tracks and Field", because its soccer team has been the champion eight times in the total ten sessions of China's Class-A Soccer League. The training base for the "Ma's Army", world record-holder of women relay races is located in Dalian and Wang Junxia, the owner of the "Owens Award", is a Dalian native. Yan Chen, a Dalian girl and a top-notch swimmer, has broken the world record many times. For many years, the international Marathon Race and the World Beach Volleyball Match held in Dalian have been a great success.
Dalian is a modernized international shipping metropolis. Shipping is flourishing in Dalian, which is connected with well-developed commercial networks. Dalian Shopping Mall and Tianjin Street are traditional Chinese shopping centers Our city is one of the important exhibition centers for China, hosting annually 40 to 50 national and international highly successful exhibitions. It is also one of the most significant commodity exchange centers in Northern China. At present, Dalian's Commodity Exchange is one of the three largest futures exchanges in China, listed as No.1 in Asia and No.2 in the world soybean futures market. The total futures for the Dalian Northern Grain Exchange Market and the Petrochemical Market in the Free Trade Zone reach more than 50 billion RMB respectively.
As one of the most livable cities in China, Dalian is recognized by the Central Government as a "National Sanitary City", a "National City for Environmental Protection", and a "National Garden City". It is the first city chosen for environment cooperation with Japan. There are more than 100 park plazas in Dalian with 9.5 square meters of public green space per capita. In 2001, Dalian won the title of the "Global 500" given out by the UNEP.
Dalian has kept enhancing its relations with foreign countries because it is a place that reveres friendship. Since 1979 it has established friendly cooperative relationship with 18 foreign cities, including Kitakyushu in Japan, Houston in the USA, Bremen in Germany, Le Havre in France, and Glasgow in the U.K., to name just a few. State guests from foreign countries and many international celebrities have visited. Among them were Dr. Boutros Butrous-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the UN; President Samaranch of the IOC , Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State of the USA, Mr. Yelstin, former President of Russia, and Chancellor Shröeder of Germany.
Dalian is one of the many cities in China undergoing rapid economic development. In 2003, the rate of development was 15.2% and GDP reached 1632.6 billion RMB yuan, while the GDP per capita reached 3,529 US Dollars. As a port city in Northern China with an agreeable investment environment, Dalian is a strong focus of foreign investment, and full of commercial opportunities. In 2003, Dalian introduced 118 projects with more than one million US dollars to invest in volume respectively. The total volume of actually utilized foreign capital was 22.11 billion US dollars and the self-operated foreign exchange earnings reached 82.9 billion US dollars.
Dalian is an open northern city with great vitality. Its urban functions are comprehensive and coordinated; its well-developed social welfare system and apple-pie social order facilitate a happy and enjoyable life; its telecommunication industry is well-developed; and its digitalized port takes the lead in China. With its agreeable environment and commercial capabilities, it has set the strategic goal of building "Greater Dalian", giving top priority to the development industry, revitalizing Liaoning's old industrial base, and the grand construction of "One Center and Four Bases". Striving to realize agricultural modernization, to improve its tertiary industries and urban integrated functions, the city is promoting the fast coordinated development of its economy and society, and its success is visible in the increasingly large scale of income in the hands of the local people. The future of Dalian will definitely be even brighter.
The people of Dalian are friendly and hospitable. They warmly and heartedly welcome friends and from home and abroad to Dalian to share the great joy of Dalian's rapid development.