Dalian looks for foreign funds to build wharves
DALIAN, dubbed the Hongkong of north China, is taking aggressive steps to tap foreign capital to develop three container wharves, costing about US$300 million at its new port at Dayao Bay.
Vice-mayor Wang Shijia said in Hongkong yesterday that a 300-member delegation headed by Mayor Bo Xilai would visit the territory and open a trade fair in March.
She said more than 1,000 projects would be offered for foreign investment and participation, including the development of port facilities at Dayao Bay.
To boost the capacity at Dayao Bay, she said Dalian was eager for foreign capital to build two 50,000-tonne wharves and one 25,000-tonne wharf.
Ms Wang said foreign investors could participate in the development and future operation of the wharves, and terms of co-operation were open to negotiation.
She said the port would also be equipped with warehousing and processing facilities including petroleum storage, as a future distribution hub.
Dayao Bay is believed to have capacity to accommodate 80 to 90 berths, providing a potential throughput of 80 million tonnes a year.
Dalian, also an important industrial base, is the third largest port in China after Shanghai and Qinghuangdao, with a throughput of 58.76 million tonnes last year.
Ms Wang said the Dalian Petrochemical Co was another firm looking for foreign partners for joint ventures, and Dalian itself was attracting foreign capital to redevelop the old city centre.
The city planned to relocate the operations of old enterprises to suburban or industrial areas, and the existing factory sites would be offered for redevelopment, possibly with foreign partners, she said.
She added that Dalian was planning to build a four-kilometre light railway linking the railway station to the tourist spot of Tiger Beach, and foreign participation would be welcomed.
On the restructuring of state-owned enterprises, Ms Wang said Dalian was considering allowing two to three enterprises to seek listings in Hongkong or overseas.
It also planned to let five enterprises in Dalian seek listings on the stock markets of Shanghai and Shenzhen this year, she said.
On the financial sector, Ms Wang said the city government intended to attract five foreign banks to set up branches in Dalian this year, but such plans had to be approved by Beijing.
Currently, 13 foreign banks have established offices, but only two have set up branches in Dalian.
In 1992, Dalian generated US$2 billion from exports. A total of 852 foreign-funded projects worth $1.19 billion were approved.