Lai Sun, Shimao earmark 20b yuan for 'culture city'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am


Lai Sun Group and Shimao Group have earmarked 20 billion yuan (HK$24.2 billion) to build a cultural project and a commercial property on a soon-to-be-ready free-trade island in Zhuhai.

Lai Sun's member companies eSun Holdings and Lai Fung Holdings yesterday signed an agreement with the Zhuhai municipal government to invest 18 billion yuan in a one million square metre site in Hengqin to build a 'creative culture city'.

'[It is] aimed at consolidating resources from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau to promote and develop the cultural and creative industries, including film and television entertainment, music, new media, creative designs, culture art workshops, live performance...,' eSun and Lai Fung said in a joint statement.

'There will be a designated zone for small and medium cultural and creative enterprises of Macau.'

Hengqin is a 106 square kilometre island next to Macau's Taipa and Coloane islands. It is designated to become a service-industries hub by wooing investment in tourism, financial services and creative industries, and aims to promote closer economic co-operation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

Investors will enjoy a profits tax rate 40 per cent lower than elsewhere on the mainland, while Hong Kong and Macau residents working there will be granted tax breaks.

'Creative Culture City will provide an integrated service platform for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan industry players, as well as foreign film companies contemplating film-making in China,' Lai Sun's chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok said.

Lai Sun said both China Construction Bank and Industrial Bank's Guangdong branch had entered into agreements to provide credit limits of 15 billion yuan and 10 billion yuan respectively for the project.

Shimao Group yesterday also signed an agreement to invest two billion yuan in a commercial project in Hengqin spanning 198,000 square metres with a luxury hotel, conference centre and Grade A office tower.