Zone becoming better place for businesses

Updated: 2013-12-05 16:43

(China Daily)

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An improving investment climate, strategic development positioning and ceaseless promotions combine to enhance the allure of the Guangdong High-Tech Service Zone for Financial Institutions to potential investors.

Despite the global economic doldrums and domestic competition, this zone in Foshan, Guangdong province pulled in 25 gigantic investment projects, with their combined registered capital or funds raised reaching 11 billion yuan ($1.81 billion) in the past 11 months of this year, official statistics indicate.

To date, a total of 134 renowned financial companies, including those based in the United States, France, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong have invested in the zone, with their aggregate capital inputs topping 37.5 billion yuan. They include the projects funded by the People's Insurance Co (Group) of China Ltd, China Guangfa Bank, IBM, Fujitsu, HSBC, KPMG and AIA.

These companies are engaged in such fields as banking, insurance, securities, service outsourcing, private equity, venture capital, fund-raising and leasing.

Seventy-nine of them specialize in private equity, venture capital, fund-raising and leasing services, with their capital reaching 18.8 billion yuan, and they have mobilized more than 10 billion yuan worth of social capital for several industrial platforms, including the province's city-type industrial base, official sources said.

And more than 100 projects, including the People's Insurance Co (Group) of China Ltd southern information center, a Fujitsu data center, a business process outsourcing center for France's Capgemini Group and an IBM service outsourcing center, are in operation, taking in more than 10,000 middle- to high-ranking professionals.

In addition to the promotional efforts and advantageous investment climate, an official with the zone's administrative committee attributed the success in seeking investors much to the strategic development positioning of the zone.

"The zone is positioned both as a backup base for the financial industry in the Asia-Pacific region and as a center of industrial finance in Guangdong province," said Deng Lianbin, deputy director of the investment bureau under the zone's administrative committee.

"The dual positioning pattern enables the zone to develop both the back-office and front-office operations and lays a sound foundation for the development of innovative financial projects," he said.

As a result, the zone has mustered up such centers for data processing, real-time call answering, disaster recovery, training and R&D, with a growing number of front-office operations, such as private equity and venture capital firms following suit.

A financial eco-system integrating finance, technology and manufacturing industry is taking form in the zone, industry observers said.

"The zone has become a leading base for financial backup service nationwide; and its position as a backup service base for modern financial industry with influence felt across the Asia-Pacific region has taken shape," he said, adding that the zone has won such honors as China's best base for financial service outsourcing and China's outstanding zone for software and service outsourcing.

Deng said that the zone is working hard to become a State-level experimental zone for integrating finance and technology as well as industrialization.

The zone is also seeking the opportunity to be accepted into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Free Trade Zone, which is still waiting for the go-ahead from the State Council.

Entry into the trilateral free trade zone would mean more favorable policies for the provincial high-tech service zone. The status will enable the zone to secure more international backup institutions and financial service outsourcing firms as well as to forge more extensive relationships with the global financial circle and carry out on pilot basis businesses like foreign currency settlement, product innovation and offshore business, the official said.

Zone becoming better place for businesses