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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 10:22, November 12, 2006
Hangzhou has best investment environment in China: World Bank
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The World Bank says China's eastern city of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, has the best investment environment in the country.

Five other eastern cities of Qingdao, Shaoxing, Suzhou, Xiamen and Yantai ranked from second to sixth, said a World Bank report released on Saturday at the Fourth China Investment Environment Forum in Hangzhou.

The report was jointly prepared by the World Bank and China's State Information Center after surveying 12,400 companies in 120 Chinese cities. The companies were asked to rate the investment environment, government efficiency and achievements in building a harmonious society.

Eight percent of the companies are purely state-owned, 28 percent are owned by the state but with foreign investment, and the other 64 percent are non-state firms, the report said.

Apart from the six "gold medal cities", 13 others including Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou and Shanghai were judged "silver medal cities," said David Dollar, World Bank's Country Director for China and Mongolia.

Calculating all the indices of the cities, the World Bank pointed out in its report that east China's Jiangsu Province is the most desirable place for investors in China. It was followed by Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong, all of which are on the country's southeast coast.

The official said the World Bank's evaluation indices included a city's balance of macro economic management and political stability, consistent tax policies, foreign trade and investment levels, government administrative efficiency, quality of infrastructure and financial services, environmental protection and the city's efforts in building a harmonious and well-off society.

Although less well-known than the metropolises, the six "gold medal cities" enjoyed high ranks in all the indices, said Dollar.

For instance, companies in Shanghai will spend 60 days a year, on the average, to deal with the relations with the government, but it will only take eight days in Hangzhou, the official said.

The evaluation results just show that a less developed city could have better investment environment than Beijing or Shanghai, if the local government is willing to enhance their administrative efficiency, bring more transparency to their work and facilitate the investors, Dollar said.

According to the World Bank's research, foreign-funded companies' investment-return rate in China is 22 percent and that of the domestic private companies is 19 percent.

Dollar said the overseas investors tend to prefer the cities with prosperous market and convenient sea transportation.

As a result, the per capita foreign investment in China's eastern and southern provinces reached 128 U.S. dollars in 2004, 1.3 times than northeast, 7 times than the central area and 25 times than the western provinces and autonomous regions.

The World Bank published a similar report three years ago and Hangzhou also topped the list.

Source: Xinhua

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