Chongqing eyes greater economic cooperation with Hong Kong
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.