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  Top high-tech area lures large foreign investment projects  



After 13 years of rapid development, Fushan High-tech Industrial Area in Yantai in East China's Shandong Province has become a hotspot for attracting foreign investment.

During the first nine months of this year, the zone attracted 31 projects with total contractual investment of 15.7 billion yuan (US$1.98 billion), including foreign funds of US$200 million.

Huang Wanjie, director of the administrative committee, said: "This year 60 new foreign-funded enterprises will be put into operation and the number of foreign-funded projects being negotiated has surpassed 50."

"We have expanded the zone's area from 3.8 square kilometres to 31 square kilometres in the past two years to meet more new projects," said Huang.

"Fushan means a lucky and happy mountain in Chinese, and now the zone has become a lucky place for foreign investors, showing the zone's enormous vitality and energy," he said.

In 2005 the zone saw an inflow of 55 investment projects, with a total investment of 28.26 billion (US$3.5 billion). Sixteen of the projects boast an investment of over US$10 million.

To date the area has collected more than 200 investment projects, which is becoming a major driving force for economic development of Yantai.

The six-square-kilometre Yantai Automobile Parts Industrial Park within the zone mainly serves the Shanghai GM's Yantai production base, which was designed to annually produce 300,000 units of economical passenger cars by 2008.

"Last year, investment promotion made a breakthrough with an increasing number of automobile parts projects established here," Huang said.

To date 50 auto parts projects are being constructed within the zone, with overall investments reaching 18 billion yuan (US$2.25 billion) and their production capacity soaring to US$2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the information industry has also grown into a major part of the local industry. With the PDP plasma colour TV project from the Republic of Korea (ROK) kicking off in the first half of the year, the zone's information industrial park is expected to become a research and manufacturing base for plasma colour TVs in the country.

Textile and garments are also one of the zone's traditional major industries. To date a total of 35 such projects with overall investments of US$42.4 million in the zone realized sales income of US$24.2 million from January to April, a 30 per cent increase from the same period last year.

"All of these figures show that Fushan zone has become one of the most successful investment destinations in Shandong Province." Huang said, adding that the zone's unique business environment is the biggest contributor to its success.

For the convenience of investors from different industries and regions, the zone has established specialized industrial parks, including the Auto Parts Park, Machinery Industry Park, Biological Pharmaceuticals Park, Food Industry Park, Taiwan Industrial Park and the ROK Industrial Park.

During the past 13 years, the zone has invested 800 million yuan (US$96 million) in constructing such facilities as telecommunications, water and power supplies, transportation and sewage treatment.

The zone has co-operated with more than 30 higher learning institutes and research institutions to jointly initiate high-tech projects for foreign investment.

The foreign investors settled in the zone also act as a bridge to attract other investors. In the past two years, these businesses have successfully introduced more than 10 foreign-funded projects to the zone.

"The high-quality service offered by the zone is an important factor making it an attractive investment destination," said the official.

He believes that, with the establishment of a high-quality service and infrastructure system, the zone will become an ideal destination for overseas investors.





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