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Zhejiang seeks more investment from HK

China Daily| Updated : Jan 19, 2023

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A business delegation from Zhejiang province poses for photo at the Hangzhou International Airport in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, before heading to Hong Kong on Jan 10, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

East China's Zhejiang province is ramping up efforts to attract more investment and a delegation has been sent to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to this end recently.

The tour marks the province's latest bid to attract more global companies to settle in the area and promote its economic development, according to Zhejiang officials.

"Hong Kong was our first stop in the new year, with its role as an international trade and financial hub. It is also an important bridge connecting the Chinese mainland with the global market," said Chen Pinpin, deputy director of the Zhejiang International Investment Promotion Center, who also serves as the secretary-general of the delegation.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Invest Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp, along with other institutions. They will conduct in-depth exchanges with service agencies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and some multinational companies, Chen said.

Attending the Asian Financial Forum is also on their agenda. During the event, the delegation will further introduce Zhejiang's attractive business investment environment.

Zhejiang's investment promotion in 2023 will focus on high-end foreign-invested industries and major foreign-invested projects to foster more stable growth, build a more reasonable structure and optimize the business environment, said Shi Qiqi, deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce.

Apart from sending delegations, Zhejiang will seek to attract foreign investment through investment funds, financial intermediaries and multiple platforms, and will release a series of new policies, Shi said.

As of mid-December 2022, Zhejiang organized 29 chartered business flights and 34 regular flights for more than 1,780 businesspeople to travel overseas, part of a province-wide campaign to "send 1,000 business delegations and 10,000 companies to explore the international market". Import and export contracts worth over $2.6 billion were signed as a result, according to the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce.

Official data show that the actual use of foreign capital in Zhejiang reached $18.21 billion in the first 11 months of 2022, increasing 11.4 percent year-on-year.

One of Zhejiang's priorities in 2023 is to continue to attract foreign investment and expand the international market, said Wang Hao, the provincial governor, in the government work report he delivered at the Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress annual session on Thursday.

Meanwhile, municipal authorities in the province are following suit. Hangzhou is planning to send 30 delegations in the first quarter to attract global investment. Jiaxing, another city that relies heavily on foreign trade, will send 24 in the same period.

"Organizing 30 delegations to go abroad in three months is quite unique in the commercial history of Hangzhou," said Cai Rujie, deputy director of the Hangzhou Investment Promotion Bureau.

Cai said that the Hangzhou delegations are expected to visit countries including Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with a focus on the five areas of intelligent internet of things, biomedicine, high-end equipment, new materials and green energy.

Four investment promotion delegations from Jiaxing went to Japan, Germany and France last year, according to the local government.

Xu Weiqiang, vice-president of the Jiaxing municipal council for the promotion of international trade, said that Jiaxing has already lined up 71 investment promotion delegations for overseas trips this year and they will target the high-end equipment manufacturing industry in Germany, Japan, the United States and Singapore.

Fang Xiaoying in Hangzhou contributed to this story.