Beijing investment forum to set new record
Cultural and real estate projects continue to lure funding despite recent mainland economic woes
The slowing mainland economy has failed to dent the enthusiasm of Hong Kong businesspeople for investment in Beijing.
Contracts expected to be signed at the Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium in Hong Kong this week were set to reach a new high, a senior official at the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau said.
This was because investors from Hong Kong were showing a strong interest in cultural and real estate projects.
"The total contract amount has not been finalised, but it will definitely surpass any of the previous events," Zhou Weimin, a director of the bureau, said.
Zhou added that deals would be signed for more than 30 major investment projects at the symposium, which was scheduled for the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today and tomorrow.
The symposium, now in its 16th year, is the biggest government-driven economic event to be staged by the two cities each year.
Last year, contracts were signed at the event for more than 20 projects, involving planned investments of US$6.9 billion.
Official figures show that Beijing attracted about US$3.52 billion of investment from Hong Kong between January and August, which rose by half year on year.
Hong Kong remains the single largest source of foreign investment for Beijing.
By the end of August, Hong Kong investors had established 11,908 enterprises in the capital, and accumulated investments had reached US$23.8 billion.
During the first eight months of this year, Beijing directly invested about US$270 million in Hong Kong, up 33 per cent from a year earlier.
Zhou said that confirmed deals to be announced today included the development of Kunlun Energy's China headquarters project and Beijing Wuyutai Tea's acquisition of a Hong Kong company.
He said the government would also promote a range of large-scale projects concerning culture, high technology, energy conservation, finance, biomedicine and public infrastructure during the event.
In addition, the symposium will also feature an investment promotion for projects in Zhongguancun, which is known as the mainland's "Silicon Valley", and a session to introduce a new development zone in the west of Beijing.
Seminars to discuss business opportunities in financial services, human resources strategy, tourism, traffic, hygiene, and food safety, will also be organised.