China’s Western Development Program in Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, while coastal ‘Special Economic Zones’ and ‘Open Cities’ flourished in eastern China, western regions still languished in relative poverty. To bridge this gap, Chinese authorities launched an ambitious development campaign in 2000: the “Western Development Program”, aimed at bringing domestic and foreign investment, expertise and capital into the vastness of western China. As China struggles to meet its growing energy and export needs in the 21st century, an opportunity awaits foreign commodity companies that can reach these booming regions. Teck Resources Limited (Teck), like other Western mining companies, has recently been making some in-roads into China, focusing on resource-rich peripheral regions, in particular Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu and Xinjiang. However, there are still many socio-political barriers that inhibit these foreign companies from accessing the lucrative Chinese market. This research aims to shed light on how the WDP is affecting the above-mentioned peripheral regions and if it has/is impacted/ing Teck’s role in China in the period 2005- 2015. Thus, the report can be used as a tool to discover otherwise elusive keys that can inform and benefit Teck (plus other Canadian companies) and its future strategies for investment in China.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Pitman B. Potter


Elena Caprioni


Teck Metals Ltd.


Urban studies


Finance, insurance and business


University of British Columbia



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