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Trade fair attracts investment

By Ding Congrong, An Baijie (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-23 09:09

International, domestic deals signed as Hai’an champions Belt and Road Initiative, Ding Congrong and An Baijie report.

A total of 96 cooperative agreements were signed at a trade fair in Hai’an county in Nantong, East China’s Jiangsu province, this month according to local government statistics.

More than 400 businesspeople from over 20 countries and regions including Italy, the United States and Australia attended the 2015 Hai'an Golden Autumn Trade Fair, which started on Nov 12.

Trade fair attracts investment
An international freight train departs Hai’an county in Nantong, Jiangsu province, bound for Central Asia. XU CONGJUN FOR CHINA DAILY

Chinese entrepreneurs agreed to invest more than 20 billion yuan ($3.14 billion), while those from overseas pledged $750 million. Some of the agreements, such as an electric vehicle project, involve more than 1.5 billion yuan of investment each.

Lu Weidong, Party chief of the county, said at the opening ceremony that after decades of rapid development, Hai’an has become a place with great potential for economic development.

Trade fair attracts investment
Lu Weidong, Party chief of Hai’an county, delivers a keynote speech at the 2015 Hai’an Golden Autumn Trade Fair. DING CONGRONG CHINA DAILY

Located near Shanghai, Hai’an is a transport hub that connects neighboring cities, including Nantong, Yancheng and Taizhou. The county covers an area of 1,180 square kilometers, with a population of 960,000.

The local government has attached great importance to public services, especially for investors from China and overseas, Lu said.

More high-speed railway lines are being constructed in the county, making it an important traffic center in East China, he added.

According to the county government, a large number of big companies, including Taiwan Glass Group, Taiwan YC Group, Shanghai Auto Industrial Corp Group and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, have invested in Hai’an in recent years, making the county a competitive place to attract investment.

Compared with many other counties, Hai’an has both convenient traffic and lower human resource costs.

Local government statistics show that the area’s economic growth reached 51 billion yuan in the first three quarters of this year, about 9.8 percent more than last year.

The incomes of rural and urban residents in Hai’an increased by 9.9 and 8.9 percent respectively in the first three quarters of this year, according to local government statistics.

The county government has attached great importance to participating in the national Belt and Road Initiative, given its convenient geographic location. The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which would use trade and investment to boost ties along the ancient trade routes and extended regions.

Entrepreneurs from Hai’an county invested in 19 large projects in Southeast Asian countries, with a total investment of $350 million in industries including clothing, textiles, plantations, chemical production, agricultural produce and equipment manufacturing.

Many local construction companies have also invested in countries along the Belt and Road route, and construction enterprises had total production worth more than 100 billion yuan last year.

The local government said that it will make full use of its international cooperative platforms, such as the China-Italy Hai’an Ecological Park and the International Scientific Cooperative Base, to attract professionals in industries including robotics, energy saving and environment protection, transportation, modern logistics and modern agriculture.

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