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HK and Macao ties spur Guangzhou growth
Latest Updated at 2008-November-27 09:39:35

Due in large part to its close business ties with Hong Kong and Macao, Guangzhou has grown significantly over the past 30 years.

Hong Kong is the biggest source of overseas investment in Guangzhou. By the end of last year, Hong Kong residents had invested in 12,644 projects, almost 70 percent of the city's total use of overseas capital, said Li Yue, an official with the Guangzhou municipal foreign trade bureau.

Last year, 502 Hong Kong-invested projects began operations in Guangzhou, up by 5.7 percent from the previous year. Contracted overseas capital from the region reached $3.8 billion, up 140 percent from the previous year, accounting for 54 percent of the city's total.

In the first three quarters of this year, investment from the island continued to accelerate, with 428 projects signed, an increase of 8.6 percent year-on-year.

Hong Kong is also the biggest trading partner of Guangzhou. From January to September, the bilateral trade between the two regions was $93 billion, up by 12 percent from the same period last year. The volume made up 14 percent of the city's total import and export volume.

But trade is changing. In the past, most products exported from Guangzhou to Hong Kong were low-tech and labor-intensive. Many exported goods today are advanced products such as CD drives, integrated circuits and software.

Trade with Macao

Last year, Guangzhou-Macao trade was $320 million, up by 25 percent from the previous year.

Macao enterprises had 267 investment projects in Guangzhou by the end of last year, with eight more in the first three quarters of this year, a 16 percent increase over the same period last year.

Most of the projects invested by Macao have been real estate projects.

Before the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) was signed in 2003, investment from Hong Kong and Macao in Guangzhou's service industry was just 25 percent of the overall investment. Today it is half.

Up to March of this year, Guangzhou approved 75 Hong Kong and Macao CEPA projects that include logistics, trading, consultancy, advertisement and conventions.

There are now 2,348 Hong Kong-invested service projects in Guangzhou, with $9.4 billion contracted capital.

Many well-known banks, such as HSBC, Hang Seng, and East-Asia, have opened branches, offices or service organizations in Guangzhou. At the same time, many Guangzhou enterprises have been listed on Hong Kong's stock market or established offices in Hong Kong.

Education and culture

Cooperation in other sectors, such as education and culture, is also becoming closer.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology set up a Fok Yingtung Research Institute in Nansha district not long ago. Another eight research institutes are planned for the near future to focus on research in electronic information science.

Last year, the Guangzhou government dispatched personnel to Hong Kong to study how to rebuild and manage old urban districts. In 2003, when SARS broke out, health authorities of Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao worked together to fight the epidemic disease.

Today cooperation is not limited to business, but has grown to all aspects of society.

Editor: Yan

By: Liang Qiwen Source: China Daily Website
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