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Funds set up to help Guangdong firms
By Zhan Lisheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-01-20 07:43

Guangdong province, which accounts for a quarter of China's total foreign trade, will set up two funds worth 1.9 billion yuan ($278 million) to support its exporters this year amid the global financial crisis, a senior official said on Monday.

One of the funds, totaling 900 million yuan, will be primarily used to bolster exports of technology-intensive and branded products, competitive traditional products and labor-intensive products, Ou Bin, deputy director of the Guangdong financial department, said.

It will also be used to help manufacturers of household appliances and textiles to tap into the global market and improve their overseas marketing and sales networks, he said.

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It is also hoped the fund will attract some the world's top 500 companies to invest in Guangdong and encourage other foreign investors to get more involved in the development of its service industry, he said.

The second fund - 1 billion yuan - will be used to back the processing trade industry, which contributes more than 50 percent of the province's foreign trade, Ou said.

It will help finance research and development projects, and encourage processing firms to set up R&D facilities, headquarters or regional headquarters in the province, he said.

It will also be used to help firms build up their brands, expand domestic sales, and upgrade their technology and equipment, he said.

Liang Yaowen, director of the provincial foreign trade and economic cooperation department, said: "The strategy is expected to reverse the downtrend of the province's foreign trade caused by the financial crisis."

Guangdong's imports and exports began to slide in the fourth quarter of last year, with the annual total reaching $683.26 billion, up 7.8 percent on 2007, accounting for almost 27 percent of the national total, Liang said.

Foreign trade across the province grew 20.2 percent in 2007, he said.

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