Chongqing eyes greater eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with Hong Kong

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SO­PHIE HE in Hong Kong so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chongqing, a ma­jor city in south­west­ern China and one of the coun­try’s four mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, is look­ing for­ward to in­creas­ing co­op­er­a­tion with Hong Kong and at­tract­ing more of its com­pa­nies to in­vest in the city.

The Chongqing Hong Kong In­dus­trial Park In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Meet­ing and Sign­ing Cer­e­mony was launched in Hong Kong on Mon­day.

Song Kui, vice- mayor of Chongqing’s Ba’nan dis­trict, told the cer­e­mony that the plan­ning area of the first phase of the in­dus­trial park, lo­cated in the Ba’nan dis­trict, was around 10 square kilo­me­ters.

Song said it would fo­cus on at­tract­ing Hong Kong com­pa­nies which pro­duce dig­i­tal elec­tron­ics, op­ti­cal prod­ucts, hard­ware, elec­tri­cal goods, jew­elry, watches, toys and gar­ments.

“Our tar­get is to at­tract 100 Hong Kong man­u­fac­tur­ers to sta­tion in the in­dus­trial park by June 2014,” said Song. He said the to­tal value of the out­put of th­ese com­pa­nies would be as much as 50 bil­lion yuan ($8.24 bil­lion).

Song stressed that the city had al­ready built 270,000 square me­ters of stan­dard fac­to­ries await­ing com­pa­nies from Hong Kong.

Jimmy Ng Wing-ka, vi­cepres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Hong Kong, told a press brief­ing he had al­ready vis­ited the in­dus­trial park in Chongqing.

Ng said it would be very at­trac­tive to Hong Kong firms, es­pe­cially small and medi­um­sized com­pa­nies.

“Most Hong Kong man­u­fac­tures have fac­to­ries in the Pearl River Delta re­gion, but in re­cent years, we can see that the costs in the re­gion have been in­creas­ing rapidly,” said Ng, adding that many com­pa­nies were con­sid­er­ing build­ing plants in new places. He stressed that Chongqing would be a very good choice.

Ng said own­ing a fac­tory in Chongqing would also be good for ex­porters.

“As we all know, most of man­u­fac­tur­ers in Hong Kong are in­volved in ex­port busi­nesses, and cur­rently, there is a rail­way link be­tween Chongqing and Europe. This means the costs are very likely to be lower to trans­port the prod­ucts by train from Chongqing than to trans­port them by air from the Pearl River Delta re­gion to Euro­pean cities,” said Ng.

He said the Chongqing gov­ern­ment would also pro­vide trans­port sub­si­dies to Hong Kong man­u­fac­tur­ers dur­ing the first two years. This was be­cause they may ini­tially have to trans­port some of their raw ma­te­ri­als from the Pearl River Delta re­gion to Chongqing.

Echo­ing Ng’s words, Jimmy Kwok Chun-wah, vice-chair­man of Fed­er­a­tion of Hong Kong In­dus­tries, said that aside from lower lo­gis­tics costs for ex­port­ing prod­ucts to Europe, com­pa­nies from Hong Kong which in­vested in the in­dus­trial park would also en­joy many in­cen­tives of­fered by the Chongqing gov­ern­ment.

“From what I know, Hong Kong man­u­fac­tur­ers will be able to en­joy many pref­er­en­tial poli­cies on fi­nance as well as land pur­chas­ing in Chongqing, which are very at­trac­tive,” said Kwok.

He said the in­dus­trial park would also pro­vide dor­mi­to­ries for work­ers and man­age them. This was very im­por­tant to Hong Kong man­u­fac­tur­ers — es­pe­cially la­bor-in­ten­sive com­pa­nies.

Sam Cheuk Kai-chan, pres­i­dent of the Hong Kong Gen­eral Cham­ber of Jew­elry, said Hong Kong’s jew­elry com­pa­nies were very in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in the in­dus­trial park.

“It is mainly be­cause that we are very pos­i­tive about the jew­elry mar­ket on the main­land — backed by the ris­ing spend­ing power of main­land res­i­dents,” said Cheuk.

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