Inner Mongolia autonomous region is enticing Hong Kong investors this week with 390 billion yuan (HK$494 billion) of projects.
The region in northern China is a hotbed of economic activity, with the central government approving more than 200 billion yuan of energy and chemical engineering projects there this year.
Inner Mongolia is promoting 200 projects at the Inner Mongolia-Hong Kong Economic and Trade Co-operation Week, said Zhang Lei, a deputy director of the Inner Mongolia branch of the National Development and Reform Commission.
"We have selected a set of mature projects with high returns and hope Hong Kong businessmen will invest in some of them," Inner Mongolia chairman Bate'er said yesterday at the event, which ends today at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Fourteen agreements were signed yesterday, including an energy contract with a Hong Kong-based company, China Resources Gas, said an event spokesman, who could not give figures on the investment amount.
The first two times the event was held, in 2011 and last year, agreements for 86 projects were signed between Hong Kong and Inner Mongolian businesses, of which 48 projects had received US$4.5 billion in investment, Bate'er said.
The 390 billion yuan of projects on offer included 12 new-energy projects, such as wind and solar projects, totalling 110 billion yuan, said Zhang. They also included 25 logistics projects totalling 74.8 billion yuan, nine infrastructure projects totalling 40 billion yuan, and 36 tourism and heritage projects totalling 31.3 billion yuan.
This year, the central government approved 10 energy and chemical engineering projects with a total investment of more than 200 billion yuan in Inner Mongolia, which would be a major driver of the region's economy, Bate'er said.
The region's government had implemented several policies, including liberalising the electricity market, he said.
"These policies will yield better returns for investors," he said.
"Hong Kong's industry is well developed, and Hong Kong companies have depth, playing an important strategic role. Inner Mongolia has abundant resources, an excellent investment environment and huge development potential.
"Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia have strong economic complementarity, with good prospects for co-operation."
Last year, Inner Mongolia utilised US$3 billion of Hong Kong investments, 77 per cent of the utilised foreign investment in the region, and 1,357 Hong Kong firms have a presence there, including Kerry Group, Henderson Land Development, New World Development and China Resources, Bate'er said.
At the end of last year, more than 20 Inner Mongolian firms had invested a total of US$900 million in Hong Kong, including Erdos Group and Yili Group, said Victoria Tang, an associate director general of investment promotion at Invest Hong Kong.