Henan, a landlocked central province left out of the 'go-west' campaign, is trying to drum up investor interest by offering 19 toll-road projects worth 31 billion yuan (about HK$29 billion) in Hong Kong this week. Vice-governor Zhang Honghua in Hong Kong yesterday said that the projects were part of a 1,500-kilometre highway the province would build by 2005. More than 40 billion yuan would be needed. 'The province is extremely short of capital and so we come here to broaden the channel for funds,' Mr Zhang said. The projects include the transfer of toll collection rights of two expressways and a bridge, and the construction of 11 expressways. Among them are the Ring Expressway and the Shangqiu-Songji Expressway, parts of the network that cover the whole province. The projects offer an internal rate of return of between 10 per cent and 17.5 per cent, with an investment recovery time-span of between 13 and 23 years. The populous province is wedged between the more developed Shandong province and the less developed Anhui, Hubei, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. Two main national truck roads that link Beijing to Zhuhai in Guangdong, and Jiangsu province's Lianyungang port city to Xinjiang region's Huoerguosi city will also pass through Henan. The officials said the two expressways would bring 'significant benefits' to the province. The government is offering to exempt investors from paying corporate income tax for the first two years, and cut the tax rate by half to 15 per cent for the third year until the ninth year. Some SAR-listed infrastructure companies said they were interested but needed to study the projects further. Among them are Road King Infrastructure, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and H share Shenzhen Expressway.