Trading firm Li & Fung hopes to strengthen its trading network across the border through a joint venture development - a proposed distribution and trading centre in Panyu, Guangdong. DistriCenter, with an initial investment of US$25 million, could serve as a springboard for foreign manufacturers and trading companies to the Guangdong market and beyond, the company said. Chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king said the company would take up two to three units in DistriCenter to enter the China market. DistriCenter has a site area of 8.16 million square feet in the TradeTown industrial park in Panyu. The first phase has more than two million sq ft, including 172 units that combine showrooms, warehouses and office space. The development is 70 per cent owned by the LF Distribution Centres in which Li & Fung (Hong Kong), LG International of Korea, Mitsubishi Corp of Japan and Lend Lease of Australia, each have a 20 per cent stake. Manhattan Garments Group and Meyer Group of Hong Kong each holds a 10 per cent interest in LF. LF Distribution Centres is a US$50 million investment holding company formed in 1995. The Panyu city government's Foreign Economic Corp has a 10 per cent stake in DistriCenter while the TradeTown developer, Li & Fung Industrial Park Development (Panyu), holds the remaining 20 per cent. 'We [the joint venture company] are looking at seven to eight locations to set up another similar development in China, probably along the Yangtze River,' Mr Fung said. DistriCenter general manager David Allen said the project would first launch 32 units for leasing.