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|Saturday, June 03, 2000, updated at 16:30(GMT+8)|
Beijing to Get New Automobile MarketThe Shougang Special Steel Co Ltd and three partners will begin construction next week on a 500,000-square-metre auto trade service park in west Beijing's Shijingshan District, a company official says.
The auto trade park will be eight times the size of the Asian Games Village Auto Trade Market, presently Beijing's largest.
The new auto trade park's goal is to provide all types auto trading services. Domestic and foreign automakers, retailers, industrial and commercial administrative departments, auto management departments, banks and insurance companies will be invited to conduct business in the trade park.
Officials of the company - a subsidiary of China's steel giant, the Capital Iron and Steel (Group) Corp - said the project is in line with its parent corporation's commitment to expand into non-steel and high-tech industries.
Capital Iron and Steel recently declared itself diversified and an entrant in the auto sector.
The corporation, one of Beijing's major polluters, was told earlier this year by the municipal government to reduce pollution emissions. City officials acknowledge that Beijing's high-level of pollution could hinder its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games.
Besides pollution-relief projects, Capital Iron and Steel will invest 3.2 billion yuan (US$385 million) on non-steel and especially high-tech industries in the next five years, said General Manager Luo Bingsheng.
The auto trade park will make use of the steel company's vacant land and old workshops.
Shougang's partners are the Beijing Military and Industrial Auto Trade Co, the Beijing Second-hand Auto Trade Market Co Ltd and the Beijing Honghuize Market Management and Service Centre.
The four partners have invested 5 million yuan (US$600,000) in the project, Luo said.
Shougang and Beijing Military and Industrial each have a 35 per cent stake in the project. For Beijing Second-hand Auto Trade Market, it is 20 per cent. Beijing Honghuize has 10 per cent.
The project's first stage is a 12,000-square-metre trading hall that will be mainly used to sell second-hand autos.
Luo said the start of construction on the park will depend upon the state of the home auto market.
He hinted that the park is likely to merge with the Beifang Auto Trade Market.
Business insiders said the necessity of such a giant auto trade market stems from the expectation that automakers swarming into China will need to market their products.
That may also partly explain why Auto China 2000, scheduled for June 6-12, is expected to be a success.
About 1,000 auto makers from 20 countries and regions will take part in the fair, said Dai Kexiang, general manager of the China International Exhibition Centre.
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