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Hong Kong can dig for gold in Guangdong projects
Latest Updated by 2006-03-07 11:16:49
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The next five years would be a golden period for Hong Kong if it could cash in on Guangdong's economic expansion, a senior provincial official said in the city yesterday.


Deputy Secretary General to the Guangdong Provincial Government Xie Pengfei said the country's top legislature had just approved the South China province's 11th five-year plan during which 233 major projects worth 1,500 billion yuan (about US$187.5 billion) would be launched.


A projected investment of 1,100 billion yuan (about US$137.5 billion) would materialize during the five-year period, Xie told a forum on the city's economic links with the mainland. The event was organized by Ming Pao and Commercial Radio.


The expansion offers a "golden" window for broader cooperation between the province and Hong Kong, especially in the services and logistics sectors.


A bulk (21) of the investment items are related to energy, he said. An estimated 233.3 billion yuan (about US$29.16 billion) has been set aside for the purpose.


Twenty-five items of innovative technology will benefit from 53 billion yuan (about US$6.25 billion) and 22 waterworks items, from 38 billion yuan (about US$4.75 billion).


Guangdong's internal expressway network, too, will be expanded from 3,100 kilometres to 5,100 kilometres, with the railways being extended by 2,100 kilometres by the end of the five-year period.


The mammoth scale of the expansion presents all kinds of opportunities for Hong Kong's investors and service professionals, especially financiers who, Xie said, could assist the province in raising capital for the projects.


The province has set for itself a target to increase its GDP from 2,170 billion yuan (about US$271.25 billion) in 2005 to 3,350 billion yuan (about US$418.75) by the end of the period.


Opening the forum, acting Chief Executive Rafael Hui said it was of paramount importance for Hong Kong to strengthen its "window" position to support commercial and industrial activities on the mainland.


HK's opportunities


The city could approach the opportunities in three ways: encourage more mainland enterprises to set up bases in Hong Kong to explore overseas markets, provide multiple services to back commercial activities that have been expanding in the region and use its niche as a world financial centre to help mainland enterprises raise capital.


Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma expected Asia to become a major market for real estate investment trusts (REITs), saying the mainland would participate in it through the Hong Kong stock market.


Later this month, the city will host a financial services forum with the pan-Pearl River Delta region in mind, Ma said.


Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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