South China regions pledge financial coopertaion

Updated: 2007-06-11 08:45

CHANGSHA -- Leaders of nine regions in southern China, Hong Kong and Macao have vowed to further financial cooperation and promote smooth flow of capital and personnel.

Senior officials from the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region have reached agreements on accelerating capital market development, building a property right trading system and a financial risk prevention mechanism, and some other issues during the ongoing PPRD Regional Cooperation and Development Forum in this capital city of southwest China's Hunan Province.

The regional economic framework, also known as "9+2 cooperation", comprises Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

The 11 senior leaders agreed to further open up the financial market and build a multi-tier capital market in an effort to facilitate the smooth flow of capital, technology and personnel within the territory of the region.

HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promised to provide various financial tools and services to support PPRD-based enterprises and infrastructure construction.

More efforts will also be made to promote relaxation of restrictions on cooperation between financial institutions based in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, according to him.

Statistics show that some 370 mainland companies, including more than 100 from PPRD, have raised more than 1.5 trillion HK dollars (over 192 billion US dollars) via Hong Kong stock market.

The underdeveloped regions in PPRD boast great growth potential, but they should work harder to create a more favorable investment environment, improve their payment system and provide more convenient settlement services, said a senior official with Hong Kong Financial Administration.

The nine mainland regions also planned to build up a strategic alliance among rural credit cooperatives to make full use of the financial capacity there.

The PPRD should help local companies to go out and facilitate the inbound flow of investment, said Shao Ning, deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

Occupying 20 percent of China's land territory and home to one third of the country's population, the PPRD region contributes to 31.7 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.

Total import and export of the nine provinces and regions in the Pan-Pearl River Delta area reached 157.47 billion US dollars in the first quarter of this year, accounting for 34.4 percent of the national total, according to statistics from the Guangdong customs.

According to customs officials, the promotion of cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta area has given strong push to the growth of economic and trade exchanges among China's mainland, Hong Kong and Macao.

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