City expects more private and state investments as it strives to become western region's business hub Chongqing is targeting 100 billion yuan of investments in industrial upgrades and infrastructure from private and state-owned enterprises this year as the city steps up efforts to turn itself into an industrial hub for the western region, according to municipal government officials. 'This amount will be the biggest ever and is a bit higher than in recent years,' said Zhang Dingyu, director of the Chongqing Land Resources & Housing Administration Bureau. 'Most of the investments will be from state-owned enterprises in particular but also from private and foreign firms.' Investment in Chongqing's industrial sector last year topped 75 billion yuan, a 33 per cent increase from a year earlier, according to government figures. Beijing has pumped huge amounts of money into the city's infrastructure over the past 10 years and this year the government also plans to invest 6.5 billion yuan in upgrading and expanding the municipal power grid and a further 5.2 billion in a new power and coal base. But the increased investment by individual enterprises is an evolution from the government bond-funded 'go west' policy of previous years. About 73 billion yuan of this year's investments will be in 10 major projects, including 7.5 billion yuan in a new production plant by Promos Technologies, Taiwan's second-largest market of memory chips, 17 billion yuan by Chongqing Iron and Steel Group in environmental upgrades and 8.2 billion yuan by Changan Auto Group in relocation and organisational restructuring. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Chongqing's elevation to the ranks of Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin as a municipality under direct control of the central government. 'A few years ago, most economic development was concentrated in infrastructure construction but in the last few years other industries have developed,' Mr Zhang said. The boost in industrial investment this year is partly the result of changes at the top of the Chongqing government that have sped up approval processes and streamlined investment procedures. 'Most government departments have been ceding authority to the various district-level officials in Chongqing since Wang Yang, the city's new party secretary, was appointed,' said Paul Tung, the chairman of Tengxiang Industry. Mr Wang is seen as a rising star in the government and has used his political backing to reprimand local officials and drastically transform the political environment since his appointment a year ago. Other large industrial projects scheduled for this year include a 6.8 billion yuan, 60 square kilometre aluminium smelter, a 5.7 billion yuan wind power project, a 5.2 billion yuan chemical base and the construction of a five billion yuan natural gas chemical plant, the country's biggest. Many of these projects will not come on stream for a further two years.