Fuzhou lures US$4.3b from HK

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2011, 12:00am

Fuzhou, the capital city of coastal province Fujian, has signed US$4.3 billion worth of contracts with Hong Kong investors to help develop its energy, tourism, finance and logistics sectors.

'A new round of exploration will be implemented in Fuzhou, providing vast opportunities for us to deepen co-operation between Fuzhou and Hong Kong,' Fuzhou's party secretary Yuan Rongxiang told a signing ceremony yesterday.

China's 12th five-year plan intends to accelerate the construction of the Western Taiwan Straits Economic Zone, an area covering Fujian province and some cities in the neighbouring provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Guangdong.

Beijing is making the economic zone a priority because of its strategic location, facing Taiwan across the Taiwan Straits and between the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.

A delegate from China Resources said that as the core city in the economic zone, Fuzhou's strategic development would speed up as it benefited from government policies.

Hong Kong has always been a major source of investment for Fuzhou, with contracted investment of more than US$16 billion to date, accounting for more than half of the city's total external investment.

Fuzhou's gross domestic product topped 300 billion yuan (HK$356 billion) last year, its highest-ever, and per capita gross domestic product reached US$6,530, beating the province's average of US$5,000. The 30 projects signed yesterday mainly focus on service industries. Major deals include the Straits Pharmaceutical Town, in which Linca Group (Hong Kong) will invest US$500 million in the next three years.

The Straits Pharmaceutical Town is expected to become the country's biggest medicines logistics centre, and will also have hospitals and recreational facilities.

China Sunshine in Hong Kong and the Philippines' Platinum Group Metals Corp will together invest US$300 million in a ferro-nickel production base.

Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed milk products importer, is planning to invest US$57 million to produce dairy food and beverages in Fuzhou.

Major source

Hong Kong has always been a major source of investment

Contracted investment from the SAR to date accounts for more than this amount, in US dollars: $16b