Expected to draw record capital from overseas investors, the Eighth China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) will highlight investing in the service industry and attracting attention from the industrial and commercial circles in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has confirmed it will send a delegation to the upcoming fair, to be held September 8 to 11 in Xiamen, Fujian Province.
During the fair, the delegation will hold a Hong Kong Pavilion Day and a special symposium to promote the region's service industry, Hong Kong officials said at CIFIT promotional event held in Hong Kong.
Along with the implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the newly reached Pan-Pearl-River Delta Regional Co-operation Framework Agreement, exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and the mainland will be further enhanced, said Guo Li, vice-director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR.
The Pan-Pearl-River Delta covers Hong Kong, Macao and eight mainland provinces and one autonomous region in or neighbouring the Pearl River Basin.
Guo hopes that Hong Kong's industrial and commercial circles will make full use of the CIFIT to expand their mainland business.
As an international finance, trade and shipping centre, Hong Kong has a well-developed service industry, with 86 per cent of its gross national product coming from the sector.
The partnership will help make Hong Kong's access on the mainland easier, with the service industry the largest beneficiary, Guo said.
Organizers of CIFIT are also touting the fair's host city Xiamen.
"Xiamen should actively accept the positive influence of Hong Kong's economic development, and help spread the influence to the entire economic zone on the west bank of the Taiwan Straits," said Xiamen Mayor Zhang Changping, who is also vice-director of the Eighth CIFIT's organizing committee.
Zhang said Xiamen will provide more favourable treatment under CEPA to welcome Hong Kong businesses in the city's development in fields such as infrastructure construction, logistics, finance, consulting, education and environmental protection.
"Co-operation between Xiamen and Hong Kong will upgrade Xiamen's economic development and make Xiamen the core of the economic zone on the west coast of the Straits and an important part of the Pan-Pearl-River Delta," added Zhang.
Business people in Hong Kong's service industry have shown great interest in investing in Xiamen, regarding it as one of the most suitable places to develop on the mainland.
According to the organizers, dozens of Hong Kong service agencies engaged in investment consulting, funds management, accounting and legal services have expressed intentions of participating in CIFIT.
Fair officials have also invited other Hong Kong governmental and quasi-governmental agencies such as the Hong Kong Investment Promotion Unit and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
The Chinese Government recently published the nation's first industry-based guideline to help Chinese firms make better choices when they invest in overseas markets.
The guideline, in the form of catalogues, was jointly published by the commerce and foreign affairs ministries.
Covering 67 nations and a wide variety of industries, it offers suggestions to domestic firms in the selection of investment destinations and industries. Among them, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sectors are highlighted.
"The guideline is conducive to optimizing the industrial layout of Chinese investments in the world and preventing them from investing blindly and from unhealthy competition among Chinese firms," a Ministry of Commerce official said.
The guideline, which is expected to be updated according to global market changes, will also be a reference for local governments in judging whether an overseas project deserves support, the official added.
Analysts say it is important to encourage Chinese firms to increase outward investment against the backdrops of globalization and market integration.
"They (Chinese firms) should enlarge their vision instead of only focusing the local market, and allocate resources on a global basis," said Fan Ying, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University.
"If they choose the right investment destination and industry, their costs will be greatly reduced with profit rises," she added.
Fan also suggests that going global could help Chinese makers dodge an increasing number of trade barriers.
For example, textile and television makers may establish plants outside China and resume exporting goods to countries that impose anti-dumping or safeguards measures on China.
Companies say the government advice is helpful in providing an overall picture of outward investments.
Lu Deguo, general manager of a Shandong-based private porcelain ware maker, said he has the intention of running a manufacturing plant outside China, but was hesitating about the location.
The guideline, which he terms "timely," might give him some useful reference, he said.
However, experts and companies expected that more government efforts will be made in the future to promote the going global campaign.
Zhao Deyuan, assistant to the president of China Minerals and Metals Group (China Minmetals), said new taxation policies should be introduced to encourage Chinese mining firms to tap into the international market.
Also, fiscal and insurance support should be given to them to widen their financing channels, he added.
China Minmetals is China's largest metal trader and is striving for a larger overseas presence.
An early-warning system that is able to deal with emergencies should also be set up to serve companies seeking to invest overseas.
Some Chinese enterprises, such as PetroChina, Sinopec, home-appliance maker Haier and energy giant Huaneng Group, have set up joint ventures or acquired shareholdings in many countries, including the United States, Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.