Located in the northwest of China, Qinghai is the fourth largest province in China in terms of area after Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions.
Lying mostly on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai has an average elevation of over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level.
Mountain ranges include the Tanggula Mountains and Kunlun Mountains, with the highest point being 6,860 meters (22,510 ft). Due to the high altitude, Qinghai has cold winters, mild summers, and a large diurnal temperature variation. Its annual temperature is approximately −5 to 8 °C (23 to 46 °F), with January temperatures ranging from −18 to −7 °C (0 to 19 °F) and July temperatures ranging from 15 to 21 °C (59 to 70 °F). It is also prone to heavy winds as well as sandstorms between the periods of February to April.
Qinghai enjoys a rich supply of natural resources, including oil, natural gas, salt petroleum, minerals and hydropower.
Its population stood at 5.98 million in 2017. Ethnic minorities account for about 48 percent of Qinghai’s total population.
Based on its advantageous location and rich natural resources such as rare metal and clean energy, Qinghai attracted investors from all around the world.
In the year of 2018, Qinghai’s GDP exceeded 286.52 billion yuan ($40.72 billion) with 7.2 percent annual growth. The added value in the primary industry reached 26.81 billion yuan, increasing by 4.5 percent; that in the secondary industry was 124.71 billion yuan, increasing by 7.8 percent; that in the tertiary industry was 135 billion yuan, increasing by 6.9 percent. Primary industry accounted for 9.4 percent of the 2018 GDP, secondary industry 43.5 percent and tertiary industry 47.1 percent.
Power generating industry
Located in northwest China, Qinghai is powered by wind, solar and hydropower. The province has 178 hydropower stations with a total installed generation capacity of 21.66 million kw. In terms of the solar power, Qinghai topped the annual generation capacity of 11.3 billion kwh in 2017.
Petroleum and natural gas
The exploitation of mineral resources has long constituted a major component of the province’s economy. Petroleum and natural gas reserves are located in the Qaidam Basin, which contains most of the province’s mineral reserves. The added value of the industry witnessed a sustainable growth increasing by 4.8 percent year-on-year.
Salt chemical industry
One of the most striking features of Qinghai is its astonishing salt lakes, represented by Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China. The province has more than 30 salt lakes, providing rich reserves of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium salts, lithium chloride and strontium ore. Potassium salt in Qinghai accounts for 79 percent of national reserves and magnesium salt accounts for 93.5 percent.
Non-ferrous metal industry
Generally more costly than ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals are used because of its desirable properties such as low weight (e.g.aluminium), higher conductivity (e.g. copper), non-magnetic property or resistance to corrosion (e.g.zinc). As a province rich in nonferrous metals and non-metallic minerals, Qinghai has an output of 1.14 million tons of aluminum in the first six months of this year, making it a major domestic metal smelting and deep processing base. The added value of the industry rose by 6.7 percent year on year.
As an important post along the ancient Silk Road linking Tibet autonomous region and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Qinghai has seen rapid tourism growth, with tourists increasing by 21.1 percent to 34.84 million people in 2017. The total revenue hit 38.15 billion yuan, up 23 percent year-on-year. Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China, is among the hottest tourist attractions.
As an important post along the ancient Silk Road linking Tibet autonomous region and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Qinghai boasts low investment costs and numerous natural resources and minerals, many of which are urgently required in China and abroad.
Abundant natural resources
Qinghai is one of the few areas in China that is blessed with a wealth of natural resources, including hydropower, salt lakes, minerals, oil and natural gas, which shape the industrial structure of the area.
So far, a total of 129 minerals have been found in the province with the mineral resources valued at 17 trillion yuan, accounting for 13 percent of China’s total mineral resources.
Qinghai also boasts rich reserves of copper, lead, zinc, cobalt and gold as well as the country’s leading reserves of asbestos, quartzite and limestone. Oil and natural gas resources rank 13th and eighth respectively in the country. Qinghai has one of the top four gas fields in China.
Important transport link
Xining, capital of Qinghai province, is a transport hub not just for the province but for the western channel of the Silk Road. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which began service in July 2006, is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad and also the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other parts of China. Stretching out for another 540 kilometers from Xigaze to Jilong county which sits on the border of China and Nepal, the railway will be extended to the bordering areas of Nepal by 2020.
Favorable policies for investment
Over the years, Qinghai has been ramping up efforts to attract foreign investment in infrastructure, clean energy and modern service sectors. Hong Kong is the leading source of foreign direct investment in Qinghai, accounting for 64 percent of the province’s contracted FDI in 2016.
According to the favorable investment policies issued by the government, the companies who establish their offices, branches and primary branches in Qinghai will gain one-off subsidies according to their practical registered capital or operational capital. The company with over 1 billion yuan capital will gain 10 million yuan subsidies, and those with capital between 100 million yuan and 1 billion yuan will be subsidized by 1 percent. The individuals who have contributed the main functions on the introduction will be awarded by newly-established financial institutions. The banks and financial institutions which provide supports to sci-tech projects, SME and village-agriculture-farmer undertakings will be awarded by the province.
Investment promotion agencies
1. Department of Commerce of Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-6321711 Division of Foreign Investment Administration: 0971-6321731
Address: Floor 14-18, Guomao Mansion, No 2 Haiyan Road, Chengxi District, Xining
Website: http://swt.qinghai.gov.cn/ (Chinese)