Hong Kong investors wanted as Jiangsu tries to grow service sector
Delegates from Jiangsu are seeking help from deep-pocketed Hong Kong investors to develop the service sector as the Yangtze River Delta province responds to central government pressure to move up the value chain.
Beijing is calling for a change from labour-intensive manufacturing and the export of low-added-value products to a business structure focusing more on technology and on the service sector in its strategic 12th five-year plan, which ends in 2015.
'Jiangsu is developing fast, but we face the task of adjusting the composition of our industries,' said Luo Zhijun, the provincial party secretary.
The province is looking for 670 billion yuan (HK$810 billion) for 260 projects, covering logistics, information technology, trade and tourism. In all, 41 projects are seeking more than 5 billion yuan each.
While it makes up 1 per cent of China's area, Jiangsu accounts for 10 per cent of the country's gross domestic product. Last year, per capita GDP in the province of 78 million was US$7,700, only behind Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. 'In the first half of this year, Jiangsu's GDP rose 11 per cent,' Luo said.
He said with more spending money, Jiangsu residents were demanding more services in the education, culture, health and tourism sectors.
'Our target is for the service sector's contribution to GDP to be 48 per cent,' he said. Currently, the service sector accounts for 40 per cent of GDP.
But to achieve this, Jiangsu needed support from Hong Kong, where the service sector accounted for as much as 92 per cent of GDP, Luo said.
'Hong Kong is rich in talent and operational experience, so it is highly complementary to us in this economic transformation.'
During yesterday's promotional seminar, 34 memorandums or contracts were signed.
The main projects include a Nanjing airport-logistics park, which will be constructed in nine years and is seeking an investment of 10 billion yuan, and the Jiulong steel-logistics park in the city of Zhangjiagang, which is expected to cost 30 billion yuan to build.