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Beijing, HK upgrade ties
( 2003-10-04 09:36) (China Daily)

The Seventh Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium will be held on October 23-24 in Beijing in an attempt to further upgrade ties between the two areas.

The symposium will probe into establishing a new co-operative system between the two cities under the framework of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which was signed on June 29 and will take effect on January 1.

Meanwhile, the symposium is the first huge business event between Hong Kong and the mainland since the CEPA was signed, according to sources from the symposium.

Co-operation in fields such as service will be given priority at the symposium, including legal services, tourism and finance, according to Dong Hong, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government.

A total of 177 programmes will be promoted by Beijing authorities with the goal of generating investment of around US$9.7 billion from ventures in Hong Kong.

Real estate projects topped the investment share of the total, estimated at US$3.2 billion. Other areas of interest include commerce, infrastructural facilities and high-tech projects.

Some 400 government officials, experts and entrepreneurs from Beijing and Hong Kong are expected to attend the annual symposium.

The symposium was first held in 1997 and the two cities have taken turns hosting the event. A total of 285 co-operative projects totalling US$13 billion have been signed at the previous six symposiums.

Hong Kong investors are tops among all of the investing regions with interests in Beijing, with 6,789 enterprises totalling US$17.3 billion worth of business in the capital. In turn, Beijing ventures have established 38 enterprises in Hong Kong, with an investment of US$42.8 million.

Hong Kong has become Beijing's third-biggest trade partners, with a total trade volume of US$1.7 billion last year.

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