CHANGSHA -- Every 6.5 minutes, an engine rolls off the robot-operated assembly line at the factory of a China-German joint venture in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan province.
Covering an area of about 120,000 square meters, the engine factory of Hunan Deutz Power Co Ltd has launched whole-process information management. With an assembly line of almost 100 meters and over 40 procedures done by robots, the automation rate of key procedures in the factory has reached 90 percent, while the planned production capacity is 300,000 units per year.
With an investment of 408 million yuan (about $60 million), the Changsha-based company engages in research and development, manufacturing and sales of construction machinery engines. It was jointly established in 2019 by Chinese equipment manufacturer Sany Group and Deutz AG, one of Germany's leading manufacturers of diesel and gas engines.
Feng Jinliang, the company's office director, is confident about the joint venture's future development. "The provincial capital boasts one of the world's largest industrial clusters of construction machinery," she said.
Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hunan has gradually become a new hotspot for foreign investment, thanks to its preferential policies and favorable business environment.
According to the provincial department of commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Hunan province, in actual use, expanded 165.8 percent year-on-year to nearly $1.8 billion in Q1, ranking first in Central China.
FDI in the manufacturing and producer-services sectors accounted for 86.2 percent. Many companies have seen a surge in their import and export orders despite the virus-related gloom.
In the high-tech industrial development zone of Changsha, local authorities provide one-stop convenient services for foreign-invested projects, allowing enterprises to complete business registration and alteration in the shortest time possible. Key foreign-funded companies in the zone can also enjoy customized "one-to-one" services.
"Great support from the government has helped companies tide over difficulties during the epidemic, boosting the confidence of market players," said Yang Jie, CEO of BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co Ltd, a joint venture established by German chemical giant BASF and Shanshan, a leading Chinese lithium-ion battery materials supplier.
Yang said that, with favorable policies, the company enjoys a preferential interest rate from the bank, which reduces the operating costs of its technology transformation projects.
"We always want to be part of the Chinese market — the world's largest automobile market, new-energy vehicle market and chemical market. Through local investment, we will be closer to our customers and better meet their growing needs," Yang said.
"We hope that local authorities will continue to support us as they always do, further improve the upstream and downstream industry chain, and maintain the momentum of steady development," Yang added.