Japanese camera giant Minolta has decided to move most of its production facilities to Shanghai. The decision comes just days after the city hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit, polishing its image as China's most advanced and cosmopolitan city. A spokesman at Shanghai Seagull Camera, Minolta's joint-venture partner in Shanghai, said the Japanese firm had made the decision 'due to the lower cost of labour in Shanghai and to the widespread brand-name recognition Seagull enjoys in China'. Minolta has posted losses for the past two years, and the transfer of camera assembly lines is part of a larger restructuring plan the company is implementing to turn itself around. 'Minolta chose our company for its scale of production and the skill of its workers, and Seagull, in turn, would like to obtain Minolta's technology,' the spokesman said. She said that Minolta had already begun moving some equipment from Malaysia, the Japanese firm's former chief production base in Asia, to Shanghai. Shinichiro Kuroiwa, president of Shanghai Minolta, was quoted in the Shanghai Daily as saying: 'Minolta aims to turn its Shanghai factory into a global camera manufacturing, development and design complex, not just a production centre.' Minolta set up its first joint venture with Seagull in Shanghai in 1994, and the partnership has since mushroomed. In September Minolta said it would take a 70 per cent stake in a new venture with Seagull designed to manufacture optical units for compact cameras, and eventually for digital cameras. Initial investment in the venture was US$2.5 million. Mr Kuroiwa said the success of Minolta's ventures with Seagull had triggered the decision to transform the Shanghai operation into a global manufacturing complex. 'Shanghai enjoys abundant technology resources and close ties with Japan,' Mr Kuroiwa said.