NOT content with their dominance in southern China, Hong Kong investors are spreading their wings further north to Pudong in Shanghai. Latest official figures show that Hong Kong has emerged as the largest source of investors in the Shanghai economic zone, poised to be the centre of an ambitious plan to clone Guangdong's success in the Yangtze river valley. Hong Kong investors accounted for 757 of 1,404 enterprises set up in the area since it was designated a special economic zone about two years ago. Taiwanese investors made up the second-largest group, followed by the US and Japan. The 1,404 projects had attracted investment of about US$5.7 billion by the end of September. Of this amount, direct foreign capital amounted to $2.9 billion and almost 77 per cent of the projects had investments of more than $5 million. Figures from the Economic and Trade Bureau of Shanghai show that in September alone, the territory's investors initiated nine projects worth US$171 million. Hong Kong again ranked first in terms of total investment, followed by the US, Japan and Taiwan, according to a Hong Kong Electronics Association delegation which visited Pudong last week. Figures suggest that Pudong has benefitted tremendously from the current euphoria about China. About 700 of the enterprises set up so far were established during the first three quarters of this year, nearly twice the number for the same period a year ago. Because of its proximity and cultural similarities, Guangdong has been the major destination of Hong Kong's investments. The territory's investors operate 25,000 processing factories and employ three million workers in the province. But, as the Pudong figures suggest, Hong Kong investors are moving into investment locations elsewhere. An increasing favourite among these investors is the Yangtze region, which includes Shanghai and the six provinces along the middle and lower stream of the Yangtze River. The region follows China's longest waterway and is one of the country's most populous. It offers tremendous investment opportunities for the more daring investor. Co-leader of the electronics mission S.L. Law said the Shanghai Pudong Productivity Centre had been set up, modelled on the Hong Kong Productivity Council. He said: ''The centre is especially useful as it solves a lot of bureaucratic red tape normally associated with investments in China and can provide efficient and quick approvals for new projects in the area.'' During the trip, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers signed a letter of understanding with the productivity centre to promote a greater flow of information.