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Shenyang symposium promotes steel city
Updated: 2004-04-27 10:48

China's "steel capital", Anshan City in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, became the hot spot for businessmen from home and overseas at the 2004 China Anshan International Economic and Trade Symposium which was opened in Shenyang Sunday.

"Anshan city is the first target of our investment during China's great move to rejuvenate its Northeast, the old industrial base of China," said Mao Keqiang, chairman of Northern American Enterprises Investment Group.

As the center of China's northeastern old industrial base, Anshan is famous for its abundant ore resources. So far, 51 ore types have been discovered in Anshan and 37 are under exploitation.

Anshan boasts one-fourth of China's iron ore storage, 80 percent of China's magnesite storage, or one-fourth of the world's total and 40 percent of China's talc content.

Moreover, Anshan is also a city famous for its unique tourism resources. In Qianshan Mountains east of Anshan, a mountain with a naturally formed stone Buddha has attracted Buddhists from home and overseas.

An eight-meter tall jade Buddha sculpted entirely from jade and weighing 260.76 tons is another marvel of Anshan and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 2002.

As China's iron and steel industry base, Anshan had been a city both thriving and dependent on the iron and steel industry with an annual iron and steel output covering over half of the country's total yield.

But with the decline of northeast China's old industrial base, the development of Anshan city had been retarded because of its single economic structure and backward enterprise system.

With the launch of rejuvenating the northeast China by the Chinese government this year, the Anshan municipal government has been trying to seize this opportunity to develop.

More than 400 businessmen from 32 countries and regions attended the international trade and economic symposium, which is the overture to the fifth Qianshan International Tourism Festival of Anshan due to open on Tuesday.

At the opening ceremony of the symposium, 14 contracts were signed with a total investment of US$485 million, including US$180 million of foreign direct investment.

"We chose Anshan for its abundant magnesite resources," said Dr Gerd Boesken from German Asia-Pacific Economy Management Institute (GAPEMI).

In the contract signed by GAPEMI, Haicheng, a city under Anshan, and the China Academy of Sciences, a project to exploit magnesite will be launched with US$40 million of investment, of which US$30 million is from GAPEMI.

"China's move to rejuvenate its old industrial base will bring the whole country forward together and improve the practical exchange of technology, products and market between China and overseas," said Dr. Boesken.

"I'm confident Anshan will become a resort for tourists from all around the world and they will come to spend their winter holidays in Anshan," said Paunveig Hallvardsdottir, chairwoman of the board of Iceland Aiken Commerce and Trade Company. The company plans to invest US$2.7 million to build a ski resort in Anshan.

For Zhang Jiehui, mayor of Anshan, the secret for Anshan to take the lead in China's move to rejuvenate the old industrial base is to build a good investment environment, including construction of local culture, legal system and administration efficiency.

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