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January 23, 2010

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Deals signed for 36 projects worth US$2bn

Pudong New Area, a powerful magnet for foreign investment, has taken a major step in the new year by signing agreements for 36 foreign-funded projects worth almost US$2 billion.

The contracts signed early this week will help Pudong reach its goal of becoming an international center for financial services, including logistics, management, administration, conferences, exhibitions, international trade and a high-tech industrial base for micro-electronics, software and biomedicine.

The contract-signing ceremony was themed "New Pudong, New Opportunities and New Development" and sponsored by the local government and the investment promotion department.

The signing was attended by Pudong's Party Secretary Xu Lin, the new area's Director Jiang Liang and Sha Hailin, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

Also present were consular officers from 30 countries, representatives of more than 20 associations of commerce, and representatives of 120 multinational companies in Pudong.

The agreed projects are in areas of new energy, bio-pharmaceuticals, financial investment, finance leasing and advanced manufacturing. The companies from 13 countries and regions include the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

AstraZeneca, LG Electronics and Nippon Paint are among them.

Companies will set up regional headquarters, research centers or investment arms.

Last year Pudong New Area attracted almost US$5.5 billion of contractual foreign capital and US$3.9 billion has been put in place.

In the past several years, more than 11,000 foreign-funded companies have settled in Pudong. They represent a total registered capital of 29.8 billion yuan (US$4.38).

"Attracting foreign capital is the driving force of Pudong New Area's development," says Director Jiang. "It complements the city's strategy of building itself into a global financial hub and shipping center."

More than 840 foreign enterprises in Pudong increased their investment by US$3.8 billion last year. A total of 17 enterprises set up regional headquarters or base in the Asia-Pacific region, raising the number to 132 for the entire new area -- about half the city's total.

Offices will be established in Lujiazui by companies such as the Mellon Financial Group, the investment firm DE Shaw & Co and Aviva Investors, a unit of Britain's biggest insurance group Aviva Plc.

Foreign investment contributes nearly 70 percent to the area's economic growth.

Since the opening-up policy was launched in 1978, Pudong New Area's total output value has soared from 6 billion yuan in 1990 to US$400 billion last year, representing an annual increase of more than 10 percent.

The new area's contractual capital accounts for 40 percent of the city's total and its volume of foreign trade import and export represents almost 50 percent.

"Foreign investment is a powerful engine of Pudong New Area's economic growth," says Jiang.

Foreign investment creates one-third of Pudong's GDP, half of its fiscal revenue and export volume as well as two-thirds of the industrial and high-tech output value.

"In the new year Pudong will try to invite more investment to more fields, improve the government's efficiency of document processing, and launch more preferential policies to attract investment," Jiang says.


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