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Fujian, Hong Kong build deeper trade ties

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2018-10-11

Fujian, Hong Kong build deeper trade ties

Yu Weiguo (second right, back row), secretary of the Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, witnesses the signing of investment agreements at the Fujian-Hong Kong Cooperation Promotion Conference 2018 on Tuesday. [Photo by Hu Meidong/China Daily]

Fujian, a southeastern coastal province on the Chinese mainland, attracted Hong Kong investors' attention as a total of 30 investment deals worth more than $8.3 billion were sealed on Tuesday at the Fujian-Hong Kong Cooperation Promotion Conference 2018.

Among the 30 projects between Fujian and Hong Kong spanning manufacturing, modern services and agriculture, there are 24 Hong Kong-funded projects worth $7.6 billion, while foreign investment and overseas contracted projects totaled $520 million and $180 million respectively, according to the department of commerce of Fujian province.

Fujian province and Hong Kong should complement each other as both have their competitive edges. Indeed, Fujian province is a key area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, whereas Hong Kong has signed a free trade agreement as well as an investment agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kinchung told the trade promotion conference.

Due to geographical proximity, cooperation between Fujian and Hong Kong has been frequent in terms of people, merchandise and capital, and with the launch of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which connects Hong Kong and cities in Fujian more seamlessly, traffic between the two regions has been further enhanced.

Fujian is trying to tie up with countries in the Middle East and along the Indian Ocean. Therefore, Hong Kong as an international finance and trade center with a high volume of talent specializing in international law could provide professional legal services for Fujian enterprises intending to expand overseas, said Fong Shunman, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

The SAR has become the largest source of foreign investment in Fujian as the southeastern province has lured nearly 26,400 Hong Kong-funded projects, with a contractual value of $128.4 billion, with the actual use of Hong Kong capital at $80 billion, which accounts for 71.7 percent of the province's utilization of foreign capital.

Besides, more than 70 Fujian enterprises have been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange — the largest number of companies compared with other provinces on the mainland — and raised over HK$100 billion.

Through the country's past 40 years of reform and opening up, the total economic output of Fujian had grown from less than 10 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) to 3.23 trillion yuan last year, ranking 10th in the country, with an average annual growth rate of 12.3 percent.

The province's per capita GDP is more than 82,000 yuan, ranking sixth in the country, according to Yu Weiguo, secretary of the Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.

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