Three railway-related companies pledged major investments on Thursday in the Nansha New Area to establish bases to support their overseas expansion efforts, as the area marked the first anniversary of the launch of its free trade zone.
China Railway Group and China Railway Construction Corp plan to build their headquarters for South China operations in the area, incorporating functions such as an international settlement center, manufacturing and professional services.
Two subsidiaries of China Railway Group－China Railway Port and Channel Engineering Group Co and China Railway Tunnel Group Co－will move their headquarters to Nansha, a district in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
A fund company under CRG has also registered in Nansha, with the group selecting a site for its shield equipment manufacturing.
The combined annual revenue of subsidiaries of China Railway Construction Corp due to be located in Nansha is estimated at 100 billion yuan ($15.44 billion), said Gao Hong, assistant general manager of China Railway Construction Nansha Investment Development Co.
The group's foreign trade will benefit from Nansha's advantageous location, free trade zone policies and bonded port policies.
"We hope to build a logistics base for going global and to support the future construction of high-speed railways in Southeast Asia and Africa," Gao said.
A third company－CRSC Rail Vehicle Co Ltd－plans to establish facilities in Nansha for tram manufacturing, and the development of super high-speed wireless local area networks and core chips.
The facilities will serve as a base for exporting trams, said Yin Gang, president of China Railway Signal & Communication Co, the parent company.
Nansha has also reached an agreement with China Communications Construction Group on building facilities for projects related to regional development and industrial parks in foreign markets, especially countries included in the Belt and Road Initiative region.
Guangzhou-based China Southern Air Holding Co, the country's largest carrier by fleet, also signed an agreement on Thursday on incorporating a financial leasing company in Nansha.
Nansha will also see the establishment of a fund for the integrated development of defense-related and civil technologies, invested by companies including China Aerospace Investment Holdings Ltd and China Everbright Investment and Asset Management Co.
Nansha is part of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone launched last year, the other two areas of the zone are in Shenzhen and Zhuhai.
The Nansha area of the zone is a pilot area for trade and investment policy reforms, said Ding Hongdu, director of the administrative committee of the Nansha part of the zone.
A total of 142 such policy reforms have taken place in the area, covering fields such as customs clearance and business registration and 25 of these will be adopted across Guangdong.