Infrastructure organisations from across the mainland will be represented at the Beijing conference, as one would expect given their impact on the economy. A special focus will be on enterprises in transport and energy and the second conference will cover project financing. China will need vast amounts of capital to fund its infrastructure requirements. Vice-Premier Li Lanqing recently told the World Economic Forum that the government would begin US$750 billion worth of infrastructure work between this year and 2000. Much of the financing will be raised internally, but the demand for foreign investment will continue. Hong Kong's professional skills in arranging syndicated loans, project financing and other funding techniques are likely to be drawn on repeatedly in the next few years, providing the recession comes to a quick end and markets regain some normalcy. Hong Kong has been the favoured location when mainland enterprises needed to raise equity or debt funds. As of October last year, 38 mainland enter prises had listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. These so called H-share issues were generally met with an enthusiastic reception by both overseas and local investors. In all, mainland companies raised more than $100 billion last year by way of initial public offerings and subsequent equity issues. The stock exchange list now carries big mainland names such as China Telecom (Hong Kong), China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Petrochemical. By treating these enterprises in exactly the same way as any other listing candidate, the Hong Kong authorities have helped in the mainland's reform process, bringing the enterprises into the commercial world. If anything, the return of Hong Kong to China has made the natural relationship between the two economies far stronger. One reason is the gradual rise of service industries on the mainland. In Hong Kong, the service sector accounts for more than 80 per cent of GDP. Mainland China remains an industrial powerhouse but the service sector now accounts for about 30 per cent of its GDP and it is on the upswing.