By LIU WEIFENG Express staff

    A top official from East China’s Fujian Province, the host of the impending seventh session of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), has expressed confidence about the outcome of the event for the local provincial delegation and for all participants
as a whole.
    Ye Shuangyu, vice-governor of Fujian Province, said yesterday the event is the first nationwide investment promotional opportunity to appear since the end of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which should be considered as a sign of the overall recovery of economic and trade-related activities in China.
    The latest session, which starts tomorrow, is the most important to date, said Ye, as it comes after the call for further upgrading the opening-up level of China by the 16th Party Congress, which was held in August last year.
    He said the event received unexpected attention from State leaders during the outbreak of SARS, as the State Council pushed for the Seventh CIFIT to be held as scheduled.
    It is also the first time that the chief executives from Hong Kong and Macao will attend the Fair simultaneously.
    As the host province, Fujian shoulders dual pressure due to its participation in the event.
    “ We will yield as much investment as possible and try our best to ensure the smooth running of the Fair,” said Ye. A total of nine cities in the province will attend the event, Fuzhou, the capital city, Putian, Sanming, Longyan, Quanzhou, Nanping, Ningde, Zhangzhou and Xiamen, the host city.
    More than 120 projects are expected to be the key attractions during the Fair, which are worth an estimated US$2.8 billion for the capital city’s delegation alone.
    There are already agreements for 156 contracts, estimated to be worth US$785 million in foreign capital, to be signed during the Fair.
    The city has invited 335 business delegates or groups from more than 50 countries and regions to attend this week’s event.
    Longyan, a relatively backward region in the province, is planning on floating 301 projects involving industry, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure to lure much needed injections of foreign capital, according to the local economic and trade committee.
    Hosting such an international event brings a great challenge to the port city of Xiamen, which only has a star hotel holding capacity of about 10,000 beds. More than 50,000 business people from home and abroad are expected to be in the city during the session.
More than 70 ministeriallevel officials will attend, illustrating its importance.
    The Ministry of Commerce will send a 98-member delegation to the Fair.
    More than 600 journalists are expected to attend CIFIT this year.
HUANG YIMING/Express
A businessman registers for the Seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade yesterday at the Xiamen International Exhibition Centre.
By DUAN RUOLAN Express staff
    Chinese-manufactured Benz sedans will soon roll off a Beijing production line as world auto giant Daimler Chrysler is set to sign contracts with Beijing Jeep this week to produce up to 30,000 of the cars each year.
    The Beijing municipal government has set auto-making as the city’s pillar industry. It wants 500,000 automobiles to be produced there in 2005, according to Li Jisheng, director of the Beijing Automobile Auxiliary Parts Localization Office, who released the information yesterday during an event affiliated with the Seventh China International Trade for Investment and Trade.
    Designated as the capital’s auto production base, the Beijing Linhe Industrial Development Zone is also well on track to establish itself as the leader in several other diversified sectors — the micro-electronic industry, integrated optical-mechanical-electronic industry and new biomedicine industry.
    Founded in 1993, the Linhe industrial zone, regarded as the capital’s high-tech cradle, is expected to achieve an overall output of 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) this year alone.
    “ Thanks to the first-class environment being provided in such areas as power, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, broad band links, cable TV and the transport system, global investors are witnessing sound, booming development,” said Zhang Dongsheng, director of the industrial zone’s administrative committee.
    As North China’s mirco-electronic industry base, Youyan Semiconductor Material Co Ltd in the industrial zone has the country’s first eight-inch silicon monocrystal production line with independent intellectual property rights.
    And as one of the country’s flagship enterprises, Beijing Beiyi Numerical Machine Tool Co Ltd, which is well entrenched in the integrated optical-mechanical-electrical industry, has moved to the zone to become the country’s biggest research and development and production base for numerical machine tools.
    With an investment of 1 billion yuan (US$120 million), the company is forecast to yield an output of 1.1 billion yuan (US$133 million) per year when it starts operating.
Currently, the industrial zone is home to some 20 companies involved in new biomedicine businesses.
    The Beijing Pulusi Fuxing Surgical Implants Co Ltd is the country’s only joint venture (JV) that makes artificial joints. Its products have dominated the domestic market for two years.
    In the auto sector, Beijing Hyundai Automobile Co Ltd, the country’s first JV in the business of making cars since China’s World Trade Organization entry, held to expectations by manufacturing 30,000 sedans within its first nine months of production.
 
By ZHANG FENG Express staff

Known as the world’s kite capital, Weifang, a coastal city in East China’s Shandong Province, not only has ideal flying conditions, but also boasts
golden business opportunities, favorable policies and a great environment for investors.
“ To attract more investment and create a better investment environment have become top priority of local governments,” said Zhang Xinqi, Weifang’s mayor, during a press conference held in Xiamen.
The delegation, with officials and business representatives assembled by the Weifang Municipal Government, has brought 100 projects which can be jointly or solely invested in by outside partners to the Seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade.
The projects in such fields as industry, agriculture, basic construction and estate development need US$1.5 billion of investment.
As part of its plan, the Weifang government is promising various preferential policies including land and tax breaks and government subsidies to enterprises with outside backing, Zhang noted.
Taking an example, newly established companies, in their first two years,will be subsidized by the local government the same amount as they pay in tax. And in the following three years, 50 per cent of their taxes will be returned to them.
The offer combines well with Weifang’s inviting investment environment, due to its coastal location, convenient transport links, quality railway
system and communications, and comfortable natural living environment.
As a burgeoning industrial city, a complete industrial system with rational distribution has been established with sectors such as marine chemicals,
machinery, farm vehicles, garments and pharmaceutical products at its core.
Weifang is also a major production area of agricultural products. For example, Shouguang, a county known as the biggest vegetable basket in China, has a wholesale market which annually sells more than 3.6 billion kilograms of produce.
The sapphire reserves in Weifang are the biggest in China. For instance, Fushan Town in Weifang has China’s biggest sapphire mine with a reserve of 18 million grams. It is another avenue for outside investment, officials have noted.
Since 1984, the city has successfully held 20 “Weifang International Kite Festival” sessions and four “China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Science and Technology Expo” sessions, helping it to become better known throughout the world.
Up to now, it has established economic, trade and cultural relations with more than 100 countries and regions around the globe. More than 2,000 foreign enterprises have set up branches in the city.