Macquarie University Alumnus
As the Vice Governor of Shandong Province, the honourable Mr Xia Geng is in charge of a wide range of activities including trade and investment, foreign affairs, commerce and industry, overseas Chinese affairs, provincial legal and financial systems, infrastructure and anti-smuggling activities. Shandong, a key economic powerhouse on China’s eastern coast, had a GDP growth of 9.6% in 2013. With a total GDP of almost 883 billion US dollars, Shandong has the third largest provincial economy in China.
Mr Xia Geng graduated from Macquarie University with a Master’s Degree in Economics in July 2000. After graduating from Macquarie University, Mr Xia Geng was successfully promoted to a number of key positions including Mayor and Party Secretary of Rizhao, Mayor of Qingdao, and most recently to Vice Governor of Shandong Province.
During Mr Xia Geng’s tenure as Mayor of Rizhao and Mayor of Qingdao, the municipalities achieved rapid social and economic development. As Mayor of Qingdao, he supported the municipality in reaching an average an annual GPD growth of 14.5%, an import and export volume of 17.9% and a fiscal revenue increase of 21.2%. Mr Xia Geng was awarded the Pierre De Coubertin Medal in recognition of his contribution to the success of the Olympic Sailing Event as the Chairman of Beijing Olympic Sailing Committee.
Since his appointment as Vice Governor of Shandong Province, he has focused on the integrated development of both domestic and foreign trade and further promoted economic reforms. He has streamlined the industrial and commercial registration process, which has led to an increase of newly registered companies and capital by 50% and 110% respectively since the beginning of 2014. Mr Xia Geng has actively encouraged foreign and private investors to participate in the reforms of financial institutions, characterized by the introduction of private equity funds and he has placed great emphasis on building an inclusive financial system that supports the interests of rural areas, whilst reducing obstacles for small businesses.
Mr Xia Geng is a strong supporter of economic and people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia. He has visited Australia on several occasions and held meetings with various Australian Ambassadors, senior business leaders, and stakeholders. He has actively encouraged Shandong Province’s deeper cooperation and communications with Australia. During the visit to Shandong of South Australia's Premier, Mr Jay Weatherill, in April 2013, Mr Xia Geng played a key role in strengthening the relationship between Shandong and South Australia, which resulted in the signing of a MOU to enhance communication and cooperation.
In September 2014, Mr Xia Geng facilitated Qingdao Dance Theatre’s performance in Australia.
As a result of Mr Xia Geng's and his Australian counterparts’ efforts, Australia has become Shandong’s sixth largest trading partner, its tenth export market, and third importer. As of the end of 2013, there were 139 Shandong companies and institutions registered in Australia with a total investment of 6 billion US dollars, making Shandong Province one of the largest sources of investment in Australia.