South Korean giant LG yesterday announced it would spend US$400 million on a 140-metre twin-tower skyscraper overlooking the main street of Beijing as the headquarters of its China operations. Yong Ak-ro, chief representative of LG in China, said the design of the building, on the south side of Chang An Avenue in the Jianguomen district, would resemble that of the company's global headquarters in Seoul. 'China will be one of the engines of global growth in the 21st century. Any global company must be successful in the Chinese market,' Mr Yong said. 'Our construction of a building in Beijing similar to that of our Seoul head office is a sign of how important we regard the Chinese market in the blueprint of our future development.' Each tower will have 30 storeys above ground and four below, with a total floor area of 150,000 square metres. Construction began yesterday and is due for completion in 2005. Mr Yong said half the financing would come from LG and the rest as loans from Chinese banks. 'There have been no problems with this,' he said. It will be the headquarters for LG Electronics and 12 other LG companies, including petrochemicals, consumer necessities and trading, with a portion to be sold to outside firms. The main architect will be SOM of the United States which designed the headquarters building in Seoul. Chinese architects also will be involved. The main floors will be contemporary and the lower floors will use traditional Chinese designs. Since South Korea normalised relations with China in 1992, LG has invested US$2 billion in more than 30 factories and 60 offices in the mainland, making a wide range of products, with half the goods bound for the domestic market and half for export. Among the company's most popular products in China are its mobile telephones, of which it aims to sell 1.6 million units this year. Earlier this year, it received government approval to invest US$45 million in a joint venture plant in Yantai, Shandong province, to produce CDMA (code division multiple access) mobiles. In March it started production of microwave ovens at a new plant in Tianjin, in which it is investing US$230 million, with an annual output of 10 million units.