Many overseas Chinese entrepreneurs have joined in China's development and become major contributors to the country's economic vitality, analysts say.
On Wednesday, the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) will open in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, under the theme "China's development and opportunities for overseas Chinese enterpreneurs."
The biennial event, an important platform for exchange between overseas Chinese entrepreneurs, was initiated by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1991.
Previous events have been hosted in countries around the globe, including Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Australia and Japan, while the last Chinese city to host the event was Nanjing in eastern China, which hosted the event in 2001.
"Choosing Chengdu as the host city of this year's convention is in line with the government's preferential policies for western regions, the large population base and growth potential of the west," said Long Denggao, head of the Center for Chinese Entrepreneur Studies (CCES) under Tsinghua University.
The Chinese government has vowed to balance growth of the eastern and western areas of China, granting differentiated policies for western China in revenue, taxation, investment and other sectors.
Chen Yiping, a professor at Guangdong-based Jinan University, said that overseas Chinese entrepreneurs have also been transferring their investment from the southeastern coastal regions to the central and western parts of the country.
As China moves away from double-digit growth and steers its economy onto a more healthy and sustainable path, overseas entrepreneurs have also changed and integrated with the country's development and reform policies.
Zhou Minqian, director of the Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs under the Sichuan provincial government, said that there are more than 50 million overseas Chinese people, and overseas Chinese entrepreneurs have become a major force in the global economy.
"The contributions of overseas Chinese entrepreneurs to the huge success of China's reform and opening-up should never be neglected," Zhou said.
In Sichuan, the number of companies with investment from overseas Chinese entrepreneurs and the total investment have both been expanding in recent years, according to a paper released by Zhou's office.
Long said overseas Chinese entrepreneurs are more familiar with the Chinese market and can adapt to the environment better than foreign-funded companies.
"Their natural advantages, including language skills and familarity with the culture, also come to their aid in rapidly penetrating the market," according to Long.
Long said that over the past 12 years, overseas Chinese entrepreneurs have changed from a focus on custom manufacturing to service sector and science and technology-intensive sectors.
An increasing number of overseas Chinese entrepreneurs are turning their eyes on China's new strategic industries, a CCES report shows.
China's 12th Five-Year Program for the 2011-2015 period said the country would support seven new strategic industries, including new information technology, energy conservation and environmental protection, new energy, biology, new materials, high-end equipment manufacturing and new-energy cars.
The CCES report also showed the average investment of overseas Chinese entrepreneurs in each project is far more than that of foreign-funded enterprises.
Overseas Chinese entrepreneurs are investing in more projects and gradually changing their focus from small and medium-sized projects to large-scale ones, the report said.
This year's convention has attracted more than 3,000 overseas Chinese entrepreneurs from over 100 countries, according to the event's organizing committee.