Kunshan first to draw funds since virus

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 12:00am

Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, has become the first mainland city to tap funds in Hong Kong since the Sars crisis, signing US$75.4 million worth of agreements.

Vice-mayor Wang Guozhen, among a visiting delegation staging a trade fair yesterday, said new foreign investment in Kunshan had come to a halt during the mainland's Sars outbreak.

'Sars affected our work of attracting investment due to the concerns of overseas investors,' Mr Wang said.

From March to the middle of this month, the Sars outbreak put all mainland fund-raising activities in Hong Kong on hold.

The Kunshan trade fair was originally scheduled for the middle of last month while Shaoxing, in Zhejiang province, postponed its fund-raising campaign from April to August.

Mr Wang said that in the first five months, actual foreign direct investment in Kunshan rose 40 per cent to US$515 million, and the growth could have been higher if not for Sars.

He said Kunshan had attracted an accumulated US$7 billion in actual foreign direct investment, of which 52 per cent was from Taiwan. Hong Kong investors accounted for 18.2 per cent.

Mr Wang said nine companies, mostly from Hong Kong, had signed to set up car-part and information technology ventures at yesterday's trade fair.

He said US$75.4 million worth of agreements and $205 million of letters of intent had been signed.

There are about 200 car-component manufacturers in Kunshan which supply Shanghai car ventures.