@davidp, many foreigners in Kunming would like to find some decent opportunities, but unfortunately, there is not much work to be found. Little wonder then that Kunming has so few foreigners (with the exception of students) because there's not much happening in Kunming.
I have to agree with Yuanyangren. There is not a lot going on here.
Part of the problem is that the local government has lots of plans (mostly from Beijing) but they don't seem to know how to execute any actions.
This is what happens with the old boys network, who just want to entertain and be entertained.
Chengdu on the other hand is much more aggressive. They have already taken over 60% of the cross border trade from SE Asia that should be coming through KMG.
There is also a thriving expat community in Chengdu.
Yunnan, the Alabama of China.
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Thank you Yuanyangren and tigertiger for your contribution. Maybe I'll try investigating Chengdu further, though I would prefer Kunming as it's closer to the rest of SE Asia.