CHINA and Germany have struck a US$61.41 million (HK$479 million) contract to co-manufacture large type presses for modernising the automobile production lines of the First Automotive Works in Changchun, Jilin province. THE Dresdner Bank has been given approval to open a branch in Shanghai, making it the first German bank branch on the mainland. ATEA Co, a subsidiary of Siemens AG of Germany, has clinched a US$133 million loan to supply telephone exchange systems to a number of Chinese provinces. AEG, the German manufacturer of transport and electrical equipment, has been awarded deals valued at more than US$200 million for the supply of trains, electricity, telecommunications gear and other equipment for the 14.6 kilometre Shanghai underground railway. DAIRY Farm, part of the Jardine group, announced a US$25 million joint venture with Shanghai Textile Raw Materials to build 60 supermarkets throughout China over the next five years. THE Ford motor company launched its first ever retail presence in China this month, announcing a wide range of North American-built products to be marketed in China and naming the first planned Ford dealers for major Chinese cities. HONGKONG'S biggest brewery, San Miguel, and Shunde Brewery in Guangdong province signed a co-operation agreement earlier this month. KRAFT General Foods International has established its third joint venture operation in China. The US$81 million Beijing Kraft Food Company will produce cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, milk powder and butter. FAW-Volkswagen Automotive, one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in China, secured a US$420 million loan earlier this month. The joint venture between the First Automobile Works of China and Volkswagen is expected to produce two million cars a year within the next 10 years. WITH four Boeing 737-300 passenger jets China Xinhua Airlines was officially launched earlier this month in Beijing. The airline will provide both freight and passenger transportation services on domestic routes, mainly from Beijing and Tianjin, to a number of cities in China. CHINA is to invest US$1.77 billion in the next few years to upgrade its grain storage facilities in a bid to build a national grain storage network. According to Hao Jianxiu, vice-minister of the State Planning Commission, the project will enlarge thecapacity of the country's existing grain barns by more than 40 billion kilograms. THE World Bank has approved a US$300 million loan to the Tianhuangping Power Station in Shanghai. CHINA'S National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is planning to build a nuclear power plant on Hainan Island with a capacity of 350,000 kilowatts. The plant will take five to seven years to build and will cost in excess of US$170 million. TWO Singapore companies are to invest US$8 million in Tianjin's Ninghe county. Falmac Machinery is to build a 50,000-square-metre plant and employ about 300 people while Chan Ho Engineering will develop a 23,000 sq m site. NISSAN and Zhengzhou Light Truck Factory have formed a joint venture to produce 30,000 one-tonne pick-up trucks by 1997. MINNESOTA Brewing company has formed a joint venture with a Chinese brewery to make Landmark beer. The China Henan Gold Star Beer Factory in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, will surrender 25 per cent of its assets and annual income to St Paul's Minnesota Brewing Co for the right to make Landmark beer. CHINA'S largest arms manufacturer has launched a major venture to produce China's most luxurious motor cars. The Beijing North Vehicle Works and Germany's Neopland and Hongkong's Guangdong Enterprise are to invest US$65 million into the project. SINGAPORE is to cooperate with Sichuan province to develop and international airport and highway. THE Bank of China group has agreed to lend APT Satellite Company US$75 million to buy US-made telecommunication satellite and launching equipment. CHINA is to invest US$5.6 billion in a massive digital telecom network along the Yangtze River. FINLAND has given China a total of US$27.2 million in preferential loans in two deals signed between the two countries. The biggest deal provides for US$25 million to be paid to the Finnish Ahlstrom Company to produce boilers for a Chinese power station. The other US$2.2 million will be spent on water-supply facilities to be built by the Finnish company Yit.