Guangzhou's satellite city rolls out red carpet to HK firms
By Hui Ching-hoo(HK Edition)
Updated: 2007-07-18 06:57

An economic hub is usually surrounded by smaller cities and satellite towns serving as the backyard which contribute to the hub's growth. And when the hub's development becomes somewhat saturated, the nearby cities present larger investment potential.

That is how Conghua, a city under the jurisdiction of Guangzhou, is linked to the economic hub, Conghua Mayor Liang Jianqing said yesterday.

Located in the central part of Guangdong Province, Conghua lies 60 kilometers to the north of downtown Guangzhou and covers an area of 1,985 square kilometres with a population of 540,000. The city has more than 100 lakes and 68 percent of its area is covered by forest.

A 30-minute drive from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Conghua is a backyard city of Guangzhou, a hub of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.

"We are now trying to become an important link in a metropolitan circle, which is centered on Guangzhou," Liang told reporters at a press conference in Hong Kong yesterday.

"Famous for its natural environment, Conghua could be the right place for investors who run businesses in PRD to live and spend holidays," he said, adding that many international investors have already bought homes in the city.

Rolling out red carpets to Hong Kong investors, Liang said the city particularly welcomes those who are interested in tourism and property sectors.

A series of tourist resorts such as Hot Spring Health Valley will be set up in the city, he said.

Welcoming the industrialists, Liang said: "We would build industrial parks that will focus on the manufacturing of motorcycles, refrigerators, cosmetics, handicraft, foodstuff and medicine."

To facilitate investment, Conghua government has stepped up efforts to improve infrastructure.

In recent years, Conghua has opened several expressways connecting different regions across the country, including Jiangzhu Express Highway, 105 State Road and Lu Sha Highway. The construction of express highways to Jiebei and Jiedong, and Tangliang Express will be opened in the near future, he said.

Over the past ten years, 112 Hong Kong enterprises have set up shops in Conghua. Four of the companies invested over US$10 million each.

Currently, there are 148 Hong Kong enterprises running businesses in Conghua. The number of those with an investment more than US$10 million has increased to 10.

Six world's Top 50 companies such as Avon, Unilever and Hitachi have also set up business in the city, Liang said.

(HK Edition 07/18/2007 page6)