Xiamen mayor Zhang Changping has called on Hong Kong investors and professionals to make the most of the preferential treatment available to them as the city's service industries are opened up. Mr Zhang said the opening-up process in the Fujian city would be in accordance with the timetable required under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arrangements. But, in the early stages, preference would be given to investors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. The mayor said the city would relax restrictions on foreign investment in areas such as ports, logistics, financial services, tourism, and exhibition and conference services. The mainland has to open up its service sector to the world starting from 2005 as part of its WTO arrangements. 'As in the early stages of China's opening up to the outside world, our city should give preference to investors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau to set foot in the service sector,' Mr Zhang said. 'We have started opening up our service industries to investors and professionals from the three places,' he said. 'I hope they will make an early landing.' Mr Chang, 49, said Hong Kong's service industries were of high quality while people of the special administrative region (SAR) shared similar culture and languages with the mainland. The mayor said that Xiamen had recovered from the aftershocks flowing from the case of smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing and its society was stable. He said the city's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 15.5 per cent last year while its GDP per capita increased by 14 per cent over the same period. 'It shows the central government has taken the right step in launching the anti-smuggling campaign,' Mr Zhang said. 'We have removed Lai's evil legacy and resolutely cracked down on corrupt officials.' He said the people of Xiamen had appreciated the fact that they should stick to the normal path of economic development. 'They should no longer set their sights on making use of loopholes in laws and government policies.' Mr Zhang said he hoped the so-called three-links between the mainland and Taiwan, covering trade, transport and communications, could materialise as soon as possible, saying the move benefited both sides. He said Taiwanese capital accounted for 31 per cent of the accumulated foreign investment of US$13 billion (HK$101 billion) in Xiamen. Mr Zhang said his city would step up exchanges with Taiwanese cities, and foreigners would enjoy simpler procedures when investing.