Shenzhen will accelerate the opening up of its finance industry by working closely with Hong Kong, Mayor Yu Youjun said yesterday in his report to the Shenzhen People's Congress. 'We want to step up co-operation with Hong Kong's finance industry [and] strengthen our special relationship with the Hong Kong financial markets,' Mr Yu said at the opening of the five-day session. Shenzhen also wants to boost tourism with a joint destination promotion for both centres. Mr Yu said the Shenzhen government would support banks and financial institutions to improve their services, products and organisation. 'We want to create a climate that will allow our financial services providers to integrate with international markets,' he said. The mayor expects the city's gross domestic product to grow 12 per cent this year to 225 billion yuan (HK$212 billion). Last year, its GDP grew 15 per cent to 223.9 billion yuan. Total foreign trade is expected to grow 10 per cent to US$96 billion (HK$748.7 billion). The city plans to increase fixed asset investment this year by 9 per cent to 81.5 billion yuan. Of this, 20 billion yuan will be spent on subway and light railway construction, expansion of the Huanggang road, a hi-tech industrial zone, land reclamation in Shenzhen Bay, expansion of Longhua town and social facilities. On industrial development, Mr Yu spoke of the need to shift from processing and assembly, to research and development and design. He said Shenzhen wanted to attract more investment in biotechnology and in the manufacturing of mobile telecommunications equipment, notebook computers, monitors and MP3 players. Mr Yu also outlined plans to develop the services sector, particularly in logistics. Meanwhile, according to Guangzhou media reports, Shenzhen is expected to submit a proposal to the National People's Congress to expand the special economic zone (SEZ) to include Longkang and more of Baoan districts. Shenzhen is also submitting a proposal to the NPC to exempt Chinese nationals entering the SEZ from Customs requirements.