InvestHong Kong, an agency under the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, launches a seminar on attracting investment from Anhui province on April 22, 2015, in Hefei, capital of the East China province.
Hong Kong has been the largest source of investment of East China's Anhui province for years. Likewise, the special administrative region (SAR), dubbed the global financial hub, is increasingly attractive to Anhui-based investors.
"Known for a favorable business environment, free flow of capital and information, an open, flexible, free and orderly market, a wealth of talent and low taxes, Hong Kong is the best platform for Anhui-based enterprises' going global, " He Zhaokang, associate director-general of InvestHong Kong, an agency under the Hong Kong government responsible for attracting and retaining foreign and Mainland investment, said while launching a seminar on promoting Hong Kong to Anhui in Hefei, capital of the province, on Wednesday.
He suggested Anhui's businesses take Hong Kong as "a testing ground" to become more competitive in the world market.
As of December 2013, the SAR set up 3,987 companies throughout the province, and poured $22.4 billion, or 46.5 percent of Anhui's foreign direct investment, ranking No.1 among overseas investors in the province, according to statistics from the Department of Commerce of Anhui.
Also, Hong Kong is becoming a magnet for investors from Anhui as they launch a "going out" initiative aimed at investing overseas. As of March 2015, 85 local enterprises expanded their reaches into Hong Kong by establishing branches with a contract capital of nearly $900 million. Anhui's total investment in the SAR stood at $400 million in contracts and $110 million in fact in 2014, 2.2 and 4.4 times that of a year earlier, respectively, the department said.
"My flight from Hong Kong to Hefei took two hours, roughly as long as my colleagues' from Beijing and Shanghai. That gives me the impression that the city functions as a major link among the east, the middle and the west of the country, facing good geographic and economic conditions," said the associate director-general.
He added that the Hefei Comprehensive Bonded Zone, the first of the kind in Anhui province which passed the central government's quality check in March, will emerge as an important platform for the province to open wider to the world and boost export-oriented economy.
However, the province experiences an imbalance between inward and outward foreign investment, said an official of the province's top commercial regulator. "Its foreign direct investment reached $12.3 billion in 2014, while its outbound investment hit less than $500 million.......In addition, it falls behind many provinces in exploring global markets via Hong Kong." Against that backdrop, he proposed, local companies attach importance to both inbound and outbound investment.
(By Zheng Weiling)