By Chen Hong


The organizing committee of the ninth CIFIT holds a press conference in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, on August 3, 2005

The organizing committee of the Ninth China International Fair for Investment & Trade (CIFIT) plans to launch a basket of substantial measures to further improve the performance of the annual national trade fair, said a senior official.
Huang Ling, vice mayor of Xiamen, the host city for the fair, and a member of the organizing committee, said in a press conference that the fair will be developed into the most convenient meeting platform possible for investors and investment project co-ordinators.
To realize this goal, the fair will strengthen its role as a matchmaker this year, Huang said.
Since 2003, special areas have been designated at the fair for investors to have face-to-face discussions and negotiations with those parties eager to attract external investments.
As these events have proved popular, the fair organizer has decided to increase the frequency of and time allocated for the matchmaking meetings, in addition to diversifying the content of the meetings and the ways in which they are conducted.
Along with attracting more quality projects from home and abroad, the organizing committee will invite more investors with substantial investment intentions to the fair.
They will be able to take advantage of the fair's good relations with the Ministry of Commerce and the provincial government, the resources of local government departments and a number of excellent overseas agents as well, said Huang.
The organizing committee will allow potential investors to state their investment intentions, directions and the types of projects they seek for the first time at the fair. "We hope this trial will arouse the enthusiasm of the investors, who now can actively release their information rather than having to wait for an introduction. As a result, the trade talks should run more smoothly," said Huang.
Fair organizers have also invited representatives of a number of the sorts of intermediate businesses necessary to complete successful trade deals, including financial, securities and insurance companies, to run booths at the fair.
Apart from the efforts to better facilitate trade talks, the organizing committee has also made substantial improvements to its online investment fair, to enhance information management and services, Huang noted.
First, the fair's website and information management system will be upgraded. The registration system, for example, has already been transformed into a broader customer relations management system.
The organizer has also strengthened the collection and appraisal functions for the online investment projects, including analysis of the viewing frequency of the investment projects and potential investors.
Second, the organizing committee has installed an interactive video platform enabling investors and fund seekers to meet "face-to-face" online.
Finally, the organizer is accepting online registrations for the first time. Visitors can also choose to pay for admission and relevant materials through an online pay system.
According to Huang, the organizing committee has paid extra attention this year to arrangements for the fair, the trade talks and the seminars, to help make them more workable.
Their efforts are also evident in the activities specially targeting cross-strait businesses.
Three major activities focusing on cross-strait economic and trade co-operation are planned this year, said Huang.
The first is a cross-strait tourism expo covering the abundant tourism resources in both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, aimed at promoting exchange and co-operation in the tourism sector.
A summit on cross-strait tourism and a seminar promoting cross-strait agricultural co-operation will be held at the same time.
The organizing committee will invite competitive Taiwan companies to man booths in an area specially appointed for Taiwan-funded companies so that mainland companies may have closer contact with Taiwan investors.

By Yang Cheng

Hong Kong Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Hong Kong) plans to organize a Hong Kong Pavilion Day during the 9th CIFIT in September.
Ophelia Tsang Oi-lin, associate director-general of Invest Hong Kong, said on the investment promotion symposium of the CIFIT held in Hong Kong on June 29 that the agency views CIFIT as the largest of its kind on the Chinese mainland and has joined it on five occasions to expand trade co-opera-tion between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong Special Administra-tive Region.
This year, Tsang plans to en-hance investment promotion of Hong Kong in the trade gala. She will lead her staff to visit Xiamen’s enterprises, holding in-depth dis-cussions with local entrepreneurs and introducing Hong Kong’s sound investment climate.
Also during the fair, Invest Hong Kong will team up with the Hong Kong Trade Development Bureau to jointly host a policy introduction seminar.
“We will showcase the region’s unique advantages and preferential policies to help firms on the Chinese mainland make it into global market through Hong Kong,” she said.
To date, about 10 exhibition booths have been reserved by Hong Kong enterprises.
Some Hong Kong chambers of commerce and associations are currently organizing enterprises to participate in the fair, including the Hong Kong Grand Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufac-turers’ Association of Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.
“We offer solutions-orientated investment promotion, facilitation, and aftercare services to inward in-vestors throughout all stages of the investment process,” said Tsang.
According to the agency, overseas and mainland investment in Hong Kong remains on an upswing.
Invest Hong Kong recorded strongly positive results from its investment promotion work in the first six months of 2005.
During the first half of this year, the agency has assisted 144 foreign companies to set up or expand opera-tions in Hong Kong during the first six months of 2005, representing a healthy 13.4 per cent increase from the same period last year.
According to the investors, these projects led to the immediate crea-tion of more than 1,421 jobs.
The same investors plan to create 3,072 additional jobs in the next two years.
Initial investment by these com-panies investment topped US$192.3 million.
“This is due to the fact that more Chinese mainland and foreign en-terprises recognize Hong Kong’s strategic role as the springboard to expand their businesses regionally and globally,” she said.

About InvestHK

InvestHK is the award-winning Hong Kong Government department that promotes the many advantages of Hong Kong as a base to locate a business; and assists overseas enterprises establish and develop their presence in the city.
InvestHK offers free investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare services to ensure that companies have all the support required to establish or expand operations in the dynamic Hong Kong economy.
Whether it is information provision, site visits, business matching, or interface with government departments, InvestHK provides tailored and comprehensive inward investment support services to prospective and existing foreign investors.

For more information, please log on to www.investhk.gov.hk.

Parameters

Y-on-Y
%Change

Value(US$)

As of

Macro Economy

 

 

 

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

+8.1%

$188.7 b

2004

GDP (forecast)

+4.5% to 5.5%

-

2005

Per capita GDP

+6.9%

$27,420

2004

Composite Consumer Price Index (CPI)

+0.5%

-

Apr 05

Unemployment rate

-

5.9%

Feb 05 - Apr 05

Population

+0.7%

6.9 m

End-2004

Investment & Trade

 

 

 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows (2nd in Asia )

+149%

$34.0 b

2004

No. of foreign regional operations

+12.5%

3,609

Jun 04

Imports of goods

+17.0%

$269.2 b

2004

Exports of goods

+15.9%

$259.9 b

2004

Exports of services

+17.3%

$52.3 b

2004

Financial

 

 

 

Market capitalisation (2nd in Asia ) (30% Mainland)

+20.7%

$858.5 b

End-2004

No. of listed companies (28% Mainland)

+5.7%

1,096

End-2004

No. of Initial Public Offerings (IPO)

-4.1%

70

2004

Amount raised in IPOs

+61.8%

$12.3 b

2004

No. of banks & deposit taking companies (71 of world's top 100)

-3.0%

293

End-2004

Foreign currency reserves

+1.92%

$122.4 b

End-May 05

Infrastructure

 

 

 

Airport throughput

 

 

 

- Cargo (in tonnes) (1st in the world)

+17.4%

3.1 m

2004

- Passengers

+35.4%

37.1 m

2004

Port handling throughput (in TEUs) (1st in the world)

+7.3%

22 m

2004

Vessel tonnage registered (5th in the world)

-

26.2 m

Jan 05

Tourism & Retail

 

 

 

Total visitor arrivals

+40.4%

21.8 m

2004

- Mainland

+44.6%

12.2 m

2004

- International

+35.3%

9.6 m

2004

Retail sales

+10.8%

$24.6 b

2004

Tax Regime

 

 

 

Profits tax rate

-

17.5%

Mar 05

Salaries tax rate (average effective at 6.7%, Mar 2003)

-

Max. 16%

Mar 05

% paying maximum 16% tax rate

-

1%

Mar 03


By Li Dapeng

As the Ninth China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) approaches, member provinces are busy preparing for their participation in the annual investment gala, scheduled for September 8 to 11 in Xiamen of East China's Fujian Province.

Fujian
Cross-straits agricultural co-operation stands out among the projects that the Fujian delegation has registered with CIFIT's organizing committee, in addition to projects in the electronic information, chemical and machinery fields, which make up the province's three pillar industries.
"We will hold the Fujian projects matchmaking symposium as usual during this year's fair," said Zhou Jiping, chief of the Foreign Investment Promotion Division of the Fujian Provincial Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation.
Zhou said they will also host a forum on the cross-Straits agricultural cooperation on the morning of September 9, along with a show about Taiwan products and a projects matchmaking session in the afternoon.
At the eighth CIFIT, Fujian succeeded in matching 1,007 projects with compatible investors, for a total investment of US$9.05 billion and an actual utilized investment of US$7.1 billion, 140 projects of which attracted investments of more than US$10 million.
Tracking research indicates that 80 per cent of those projects have gone into operation.

Shandong
At the mention of the global success that Shandong enterprises have enjoyed through CIFIT, Meng Jianxin, deputy director-general of the Shandong Provincial Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, cannot hide his excitement.
Linyi, an old revolutionary base in Shandong that pre-dates the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, has seen rapid economic development in the textile industry in recent years and looks forward to expanding to the international market.
After Shandong Linyi Xinguang Group, a large local textile company that has been investing in South Africa since 2001, decided to expand its business in Africa, the company entered into a major project with some Nigerian businesses at the eighth CIFIT.
That project is now in operation.
At last year's fair, 40 of the province's own projects were matched successfully, four of them on an international level.
Shandong is also keenly interested in luring Taiwan investment, especially from the island's IT industry, said Meng.
In addition, Shandong will focus on large-scale overseas investments in resource exploitation and processing trade projects.

Harbin
The ongoing revitalization of Harbin's old industrial bases, as featured at the past two sessions of CIFIT, will once again be a focal point of the display mounted by the capital of Heilongjiang Province located in Northeast China.
A promotion of projects related to the 24th World University Winter Games to be held in Harbin in 2009 will also be on view at Harbin's booths.
"We are bringing our best projects to the fair, ones that can help investors make a fortune," said Li Wei, deputy director with the Harbin Municipal Economic Co-operation and Promotion Bureau.
Li told Express that Harbin holds many events to draw foreign investment, such as "Hong Kong Week", which took place earlier this year, promotional visits to Japan and Singapore by governmental officials and the recent "Korea Week".
The volume of foreign investment in Harbin has risen quickly in the past two years. More and more foreign businesses have been eyeing the city, especially Fortune 500 companies, Li said.
According to Li, most of Harbin's foreign investment comes from Southeast Asian nations, Hong Kong, Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Investments from the United States and the European Union have been growing in the past few years as well, added Li.

Ningxia
"Thanks to the nation's policies encouraging development of the western region, Ningxia has been able to strengthen efforts to promote its investment environment in recent years," said Li Jun, deputy director with the Commerce Department of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Li told reporters that this year's Ningxia display will emphasize its excellent investment environment and its pillar industries.
The province will also have its own introductory meeting on investment and a special project-signing ceremony.
Li said the delegation had chosen more than 100 projects for presentation at the ninth CIFIT that will showcase Ningxia's abundant agricultural, coal and water power resources.
Other areas with great potential include natural gas production, the chemical industry, bio-pharmacy and tourism.

Henan
Henan’s small and medium enterprises have enjoyed success in projects matchmaking through the past two sessions of CIFIT, with an annual actual utilized investment of US$100 million, said Wang Zhihang, a division chief with the Commerce Department of Henan Province.
Wang said the investment introduction meetings held by foreign governments and chambers of commerce will be good means to strengthen the fair’s effect.
The province is expected to post about 1,000 projects on the CIFIT’s website, mainly focused on infrastructure, IT, agriculture and machinery processing.
Henan will send a larger delegation of governmental officials and entrepreneurs to the fair than last year, added Wang.

Shaanxi
The provincial government of Shaanxi has been devoted to improving its investment environment since the western region has become a focal point in the nation’s economic developing strategy.
The government also tries to attract more investment from domestic and international businesses by holding seminars in Hong Kong and foreign countries, said Yao Chaoying, director of Shaanxi Provincial Economic and Technical Cooperation Bureau.
“Though we have not come to get the success of the projects matchmaking, which really needs a recognizing process after projects have been proposed, we still elaborately pick up over 100 projects for the upcoming CIFIT,” Yao said.
Shaanxi is currently ranked top among the five provinces and autonomous regions in the western region with an actual utilized investment of US$520 million. However, it only counts for about one per cent of the nation’s total, said Yao.

To provide satisfactory services for investors and projects, International Investment Express sets aside a special section aiming to make available information shared by global investment projects and investors.
Editorial Department of International Investment Express for the ninth China International Fair for Investment and Trade
Hotline: 86-591-8780 6619 Fax: 86-591-8780 6617 E-mail: fujian@chinadaily.com.cn