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Investment fuels trade growth
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09:37, December 10, 2008

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South China's Guangdong province realized imports and exports worth $634 billion in 2007.

The figure is equal to China's total imports and exports in 2002 and it surpassed Russia and Spain to be ranked the 13th in global trade volume in 2007. The figure is also very close to the volume of South Korea in 2006.

"Guangdong's foreign trade has maintained an average year-on-year growth of 23.8 percent since 1978 when China began its opening-up and reform policy," said Liang Yaowen, director of the provincial foreign trade and economic cooperation department of Guangdong, at a forum on the province's 30th anniversary of foreign trade and economic cooperation last week.

"And the province has topped any other province or region nationwide in foreign trade for 22 consecutive years," he said

"The boom of foreign trade and sustained inflow of foreign investment have played a very active role in boosting the economic and social development of the province and in sharpening its competitive edge in economic globalization."

Citing statistics, the official said foreign-funded enterprises paid taxes excluding tariffs of 157.27 billion yuan while the processing trade turned in fees of about $10 billion and offered job opportunities to more than 16 million people in 2007.

Recalling the province's remarkable history, Liang said exports reached $369.25 billion in 2007, compared with $1.4 billion in 1978, while its imports rose to $264.8 billion in 2007 from $200 million in 1978.

Exports of mechanical and electrical products made up more than two-thirds of the province's total exports and hi-tech products over one-third.

"Guangdong's achievements find good expression in the introduction and utilization of foreign investment."

Guangdong secured foreign direct investment of $194.49 billion from more than 100 countries and regions by the end of 2007, over half of which came from countries and regions other than Hong Kong and Macao, official statistics indicate.

And the world's top 500 enterprises including Dupont and P&G from the United States, Mitsubishi, Honda and Hitachi based in Japan, Siemens from Germany and South Korea's Samsung together have 703 projects throughout the province.

"Tertiary industries have been heating up for foreign investors in the province," Liang said, now comprising over one-third of the total in the sector in 2007.

He noted businesses in the province have also stepped up initiatives to invest abroad, with 1,804 non-banking enterprises in more than 90 countries and regions worldwide by the end of 2007 making combined contractual investment of $7.2 billion.

"Guangdong's business people are turning to manufacturing, resources, consultation, contracting capital and technology-intensive engineering and R&D projects from the simple labor and labor-intensive engineering project contracting," he noted.

Source: China Daily

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