Updated at 6.50pm: Hong Kong was now the largest investor in China's Hebei province - making up over 32 per cent of total direct investment there, Director General of InvestHK Mike Rowse said on Thursday. Mr Rowse was speaking at a Hong Kong investment seminar held in Shijiazhuang in Hebei province. The seminar heard that mainland investment in Hong Kong was increasing this year. According to China's Ministry of Commerce, 55 mainland enterprises had invested US$280 million (HK$2.17 billion) in Hong Kong during the first three months of 2005. In 2004, 160 mainland companies invested US$957 million in the territory. Hebei province - which surrounds the Beijing and Tianjin municipalities - is an important industrial and agricultural region of China. Its industries include: textiles, coal, steel, iron, engineering, chemical production, as well as petroleum, electricity, ceramics and food. Hebei's major agricultural products are grain and cotton. It also produces wheat, corn, soya beans and sesame. In 2003, Hebei's gross domestic product (GDP) was 709.54 billion yuan (HK$668.22 billion), latest statistics show. Mr Rowse reminded mainland entrepreneurs at the seminar that Hong Kong also presented an ideal place for investment. 'We welcome you to establish your presence in Hong Kong and assure you our full support as your partner in venturing overseas.' Mr Rowse urged Hebei entrepreneurs to increase their understanding of Hong Kong. This would include learning more about the city's modern infrastructure, world-class business services, legal system and a low tax regime, he said. The seminar started on Wednesday and finishes next Tuesday. It is jointly organised by InvestHK and the Development and Reform Commission of Hebei province. It aims to promote Hong Kong's advantages as an international business and financial centre. Some 350 senior executives from 200 Hebei enterprises signed up for the seminar.