Guangdong financial zone seeking investment from England
2013-December-6 Source: China Daily Website
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Hu Chunhua (fourth from the left), Party chief of Guangdong province, learns about the zone's development at a sand table model during his inspection visit to Foshan.

The Guangdong provincial financial affairs office, the Fo-shan city government and the development and promotion bureau of Guangdong High-Tech Service Zone for Financial Institutions will jointly organize a seminar in London on Dec 10 to promote business opportunities inside the provincial zone.

The seminar, to be held at the London Stock Exchange, will include representatives primarily from the China-Britain Business Council, the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom, financial institutions and financial service outsourcing companies in the UK.

The Guangdong delegation will mainly consist of senior officials with the provincial financial affairs office, the Guangzhou branch of the People's Bank of China, and the provincial regulatory bureaus of banking, securities and insurance, as well as the Foshan city government.

Organizers aim to seek opportunities to forge closer cooperative ties with the financial circle in Europe and learn from the international financial hub of London while promoting the investment climate of the zone.

"We hope to draw financial institutions and professionals in the UK, and in Europe as well, to the provincial high-tech zone and set a higher benchmark for the future development of the zone via the promotional seminar," said Liu Wei, deputy mayor of Foshan.

"We promise to offer efficient and excellent services to them."

Foshan has poured significant investments into the zone since it was founded in 2007, and the zone, with developed infrastructure and public facilities, has become one of the largest and best bases for financial back-office service, Liu said.

"The zone is also positioned to become China's leading cluster for private equity and venture capital firms as well as for regional headquarters of financial institutions," he said.

The deputy mayor said that Foshan has laid a strong industrial and economic foundation for the development of the financial industry, and that growing international cooperation is improving the climate for the sector.

Foshan's GDP was $110 billion in 2012, and the city's financial scale has occupied the third position in Guangdong in recent years.

Its deposit balance was $181.3 billion, or $25,000 per capita, by late September, official statistics indicate.

Foshan ranked the eighth in comprehensive competitiveness and the fifth in the business environment among 293 cities on the mainland and in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, according to the 2012 Blue Book on City Competitiveness in China issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Local governments have launched several promotional campaigns for the zone in big cities in China and abroad since 2008.

Prior to this year's event in London, they held similar seminars in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing, averaging one big campaign per year since 2008.

The previous promotions have helped to make the zone better known and have made it possible for the zone to forge more extensive cooperation with domestic and overseas financial institutions, the official said.

They have also resulted in the inflow of investments of renowned financial institutions including France-based Capgemini Group, Singapore-based Essex Group, China Everbright Bank and China Merchants Bank.

Located in this Pearl River Delta city's Nanhai district, a next-door neighbor of Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, the zone enjoys convenient traffic to any of the delta cities.

The zone is only a 15-minute drive from the Guangzhou South railway station, which is Guangzhou's terminal for express trains and intercity rails, and 35 minutes from the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

And it will take less than one hour to reach Hong Kong once the new express train between Guangzhou and Hong Kong is in service in the near future.

Editor: Olivia
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