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    Cixi attracts overseas funds
(HK Edition, CHEN QIDE, China Daily staff)

SHANGHAI: The city of Cixi in East China's Zhejiang Province yesterday signed contracts worth US$226.7 million in Shanghai with overseas investors to help its economic development.

Investors from Italy, the Netherlands, the United States and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will launch an industrial centre to manufacture home appliances and textile machinery and a bio-pharmaceutical park.

Cixi Mayor Hong Jiaxiang said the projects will be based in the Hangzhou Bay New Zone, close to the southern part of the bridge that the province is building over the bay.

It is planned that the new zone will cover an area of 120 square kilometres and will be developed into a new modern industrial city within 10 years.

At the Hongzhou Bay New Zone Summit that closed in Shanghai yesterday, Hong said: "It (the zone) is expected to attract investment of more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion), including the contracts signed for these projects."

More than 250 entrepreneurs, including some from the world's top companies, attended the summit in the Shanghai Pudong New Area. "They showed a strong interest in the zone's business environment," Hong said.

Cixi, affiliated with the port city of Ningbo, has launched 36 projects in the new zone. These include 20 overseas-funded ones with a combined investment of US$233 million and 16 domestic-funded ones worth a combined total of 1.73 billion yuan (US$209 million).

He said that, over the next few years, the city will inject between 3 billion and 5 billion yuan (US$362 million to US$604 million) into the zone to build a water conservation system for the projects.

Li Yong, deputy secretary-general of the Ningbo municipal government, said: "The efforts put in over several years have made Cixi a major location for overseas investors."

(HK Edition 08/20/2003 page7)

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