Qujiang new district, known as Xian's cultural core, is seeking to raise money in Hong Kong to strengthen its role as a cultural hub for western China. At a ceremony yesterday, 21 projects were signed for total investment of 23 billion yuan (HK$28 billion).
The central government has called on the country to build a strong culture, and Qujiang new district said it was the first example of a 'cultural industry zone' in the country.
When the government advocates a change in policy or strategy, it often earmarks specific zones to blaze a trail and set an example.
Executive Vice-Mayor Yue Huafeng said Xian would become the centre of western China, and that in the first nine months this year, its economy had grown 13.7 per cent year on year.
In China's 12th five-year plan, for 2011-15, the city will spend 900 billion yuan in sectors including: traffic-infrastructure construction; water resources protection; and tourism; and will provide investment opportunities for deep-pocketed Hong Kong businessmen, local officials said.
A number of projects signed yesterday were in the tourism sector, as part of efforts to revive Xian's glory days during the Qin (221-207BC) and Tang (618-907AD) dynasties. The city was the capital of the 'Middle Kingdom' for more than 1,100 years.
Singapore's Banyan Tree Group is investing in the Xian Lintong Banyan Tree Spa Hotel and Angsana Spa Hotel projects, which are expected to open in three years. Lintong is about 30 kilometres from downtown Xian and is best known for the terracotta warriors of the tomb of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty.
Hong Kong Yungao Century will build a five-star hotel and shopping centre. The city's Kamfei Group will invest in a wetland park complex of business and hotel facilities.