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GD-Australia trade ties enhanced
Latest Updated by 2005-11-07 14:40:32
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South China's Guangdong Province values its business ties with Australia and the province aims to deepen its co-operation with Australia, especially in the fields of energy and other resources, a senior official said recently.

During a meeting late last month with Australian Governor-General Michael Jeffery in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, Zhang Dejiang, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and provincial Party secretary of Guangdong, said the province has been attaching great importance to the development of the co-operative relations with Australia.

Guangdong is the nearest province to Australia on the Chinese mainland, and its trade with Australia is expected to surpass US$5 billion this year, he said.

The Guangdong-Australia trade was worth US$4.5 billion in 2004, accounting for 22 per cent of the bilateral trade volume between China and Australia.

Zhang noted that since Guangdong is in want of energy and other resources, in which Australia is particularly rich, the co-operative potential was tremendous.

Citing an example, the senior official said an LNG (liquefied natural gas) co-operative project would run into operation in the Dapeng Gulf in Shenzhen in the middle of 2006.

The LNG project, on which both sides signed an agreement in 2002, will involve five Pearl River cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan and Huizhou.

The initial phase of the project, involving a capital input of 29 billion yuan (US$3.58 billion), started last November. It is expected to be completed in April 2006, two months ahead of schedule.

According to a Sino-Australian gas supply contract, China will import 3.7 million tons of LNG from Australia every year during the first phase, and the first shipment will arrive in Shenzhen in 2006.

Zhang said that the co-operative prospects in other sectors including tourism, science and technology, education, culture and public health will also be very promising.

Official statistics indicate that the province had secured a cumulative contractual investment of US$920 million and a committed investment of US$480 million from Australia by late 2004.

A number of leading Australian firms including Bluescope Steel, CS China Investment Pty, Australia HSBC (Investment) Co, and Waratah Paint (Shenzhen) Co Ltd, have set up investment projects and are operating well in the province.

Star performer

According to Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong Province, the province fulfilled the target of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) in 2004, one year earlier than schedule.

The province's gross domestic product (GDP) surpassed 1,600 billion yuan (US$197.29 billion) in 2004.

Huang said that the province aims to realize per capita GDP of 29,000 yuan (US$3575.83) by the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10), with a fundamental modernization of the Pearl River Delta region and rapid economic development elsewhere in the province.

The governor said that the economy of the province is in the middle stage of industrialization and is heading towards a heavy industry-focused phase.

Guangdong has been stepping up its efforts to optimize the industrial structure, to plan for the nine major industrial sectors and to support the pillar industries to improve competitiveness.

The nine major industrial sectors - the electronic information, electric system and machinery, petrochemical, textile and garment, food and beverage, building materials, paper making, pharmaceuticals, and automobile - have enhanced their roles in the overall economy.

Guangdong tops other provinces in terms of many indices including GDP, retail volume, industrial incremental value, individuals' bank savings, tax revenue, the government's revenue, fixed asset investment, freight transport volume, high-tech industrial output, and the number of applications for scientific and technological patents.

Statistics show that Guangdong has also been a leader in country's import and export sector for the past 18 years.

Also, the province had actually utilized foreign direct investment of US$150.5 billion, representing 26.8 per cent of the nation's total by late 2004. Guangdong registered 5,526 foreign-funded firms in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 2.6 per cent from a year ago.

The province's contractual foreign investment rose by 27.8 per cent to US$14.1 billion and accounted for 12.5 per cent of the total in China. Its committed foreign investment grew by 21.3 per cent to US$8.08 billion to make up 21.3 per cent of the nation's total.

The province registered a foreign trade volume of US$300.83 billion in the January-September period this year, growing by 18.6 per cent from a year ago and accounting for 29.4 per cent of the total in China.

Exports in the three quarters recorded US$165.56 billion, up 24 per cent; and imports, US$135.27 billion, up 12.6 per cent.

Total imports and exports of the province are expected to reach US$410 billion in 2005, with exports up to US$225 billion.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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